x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Land of the Lost

The adult humour doesn't fly in this remake of a TV series aimed at a younger audience.

Anna Friel and Will Ferrell in Land of the Lost.
Anna Friel and Will Ferrell in Land of the Lost.

Hollywood hits the recycle button yet again with this misconceived big-budget remake of a long forgotten 1970s TV show. Will Ferrell is Dr Rick Marshall, a brilliant scientist and/or complete nut ball who believes time warps are the answer to saving the Earth. Ridiculed and rejected by his peers, Marshall is challenged to put his theories to the test by the Cambridge research student Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel). To his astonishment, the device he rigs up out of an old boombox works only too well. Together with Will Stanton (Danny McBride), a redneck who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, Rick and Holly are transported to a temporal vortex where dinosaurs, primates and sundry detritus from the 20th century coexist. The earth-like environment has also attracted an alien species, the Sleestaks. All the elements are in place for a fun family adventure movie, except, that is, for the script. The director Brad Silberling has evidently encouraged his team to camp it up, and Ferrell and McBride seem to have been given free rein to riff at random. Both have been amusing in mildly edgy material such as Talladega Nights and Pineapple Express, but their risqué improv style feels out of place in a movie aimed at younger viewers. Ferrell's bluster generates a few giggles, and you certainly couldn't accuse him of taking himself too seriously. Apparently there is nowhere this man won't go for a laugh - right up to a trip through a dinosaur's digestive tract. The movie is a big goof-off, in other words; it's also shaping up to be one of the summer's most expensive flops.