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He Said, She Said Review Site

Land of the Lost

What She said:

She

Wow, the critics really did not like Will Ferrell’s take on the classically cheesy television show Land of the Lost.  I think “panned” does not even begin to describe the feelings of disappointment and even anger voiced by the film critique population.  To that, I simply have to say, “Loosen up!”  Is the movie perfect?  Oh so far from it.  But what do you expect from a film that stars Ferrell and Danny McBride.  Certainly not much more than a series of crude gags strung together by a fragile and sometimes incomprehensible narrative.  Land of the Lost is best taken at face value, and enjoyed with some friends and a six pack.  If you go in expecting something Oscar- or even MTV Movie Award-worthy, you will likely be let down.

Land of the Lost

Ferrell plays Dr. Rick Marshall, a somewhat failed quantum paleontologist who believes in the notion of parallel dimensions, and thinks there’s a way for man to shift between them.  He just hasn’t invented it yet.  He has written extensively on the topic, and even appeared on the Today show with Matt Lauer, who made a mockery of him.  Marshall is relegated to teaching a bunch of elementary school kids, when he encounters Ph.D. student Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel).  Holly is a huge fan of Rick’s, and believes that she has found evidence that his theories are actually correct.  This motivates Marshall to finally create his tachyon amplifier, and take it out to the middle of nowhere to test it out.

So Rick and Holly visit a cave owned by Will Stanton (Danny McBride) because a concentration of tachyons have been detected in the area.  To everyone’s surprise the tachyon amplifier works, and the entire group is zapped to this alternate reality that is rather bizarre.  It’s a hodge-podge of all kinds of creatures from various periods in Earth’s history.  We’ve got dinosaurs who pretty much rule the place, giant bugs, stranded modern day paraphernalia, and some hairy little primate-like creatures.  Rick and crew save one of the fuzzy beings, and take him under their wing.  His name is Cha-Ka. 

What this other dimension also has are these really slow but super nasty lizard men called Sleestaks.  Among them, there’s this highly intelligent one named Enik who reaches out to Rick indicating that he needs his help.  He says that he’s been exiled by the evil Zarn who is planning to take over Earth and that he needs the tachyon amplifier.  The problem, for all involved, is that when Rick, Holly, and Will crossed over into the other realm, they also lost the tachyon amplifier.  They have crossed paths with it here and there, recognizing its continued operation by the show tunes that it plays, but have been unable to retrieve and keep it.

Rick Marshall and crew know that so much is at stake.  They want to get the heck out of this Land of the Lost, but also to save Earth from the Sleestaks.  First they must attempt to stay alive, and they have a pretty moody T-Rex, nicknamed Grumpy, hot on their tails.  Can they save the day?

Land of the Lost

Of course there’s a plot twist here, although by the time we get to it, you may be so confused by the general storyline that you may not even notice.  But seriously, who cares.  This movie is not about creating a memorable narrative that will change lives.  It’s about making people laugh and serving as a forum for Will Ferrell to be Will Ferrell, and that’s exactly what it does.  Ferrell is goofy, yet somewhat lovable.  And he latches on to a certain subset of humor for this film—gross-out jokes.  He drinks dino urine, gets “deuced” by a T-Rex, and has the life sucked out of him by a giant insect.  It’s all in a day’s work for the world’s most brilliant, and dumb, scientist.

Ferrell gives Marshall a buttoned-up but oafy exterior, par for the course for him.  And Danny McBride presents the character of Will Stanton as, well, Danny McBride.  He’s sleeveless, white trash, and looking for a good time, which often involves blowing things up.  It’s about what you get from every character that Danny McBride plays.  Anna Friel is just sort of along for the ride.  She’s the level-headed one, but is also a little pouty and under some sort of spell when it comes to Rick.

This movie is bad in many ways—the special effects are often cartoonish, the storyline is weak, it can be kind of gross—but it also made me laugh.  For some reason, I have a soft spot for Will Ferrell, and just love when he strips down to show off his shapeless torso, which he so often does in his movies.  I thought Land of the Lost was pretty fun.  Disgusting and funny.  Offensive and funny.  Stupid and funny.

Thumbs mostly up.

Land of the Lost

What He said:

He

Dr. Rick Marshall is a struggling Quantum Palentologist. That’s not a real thing is it? It can’t be.  Anyway, he is one and he’s hit a low point in his career after a disastrous interview with Matt Lauer.

Land of the Lost

Despite the fact that his career is ruined, he still has one fan out there. Doctoral student, Holly Cantrell, is a huge admirer or Rick’s theories. She (Anna Friel) is such a huge fan, that she tracks him down and manages him to continue his work.

Rick continues his work and finishes constructing a machine called the tachyon amplifier. They take the device to a cave where Holly found a fossil and a crystal the emits a strange energy. The cave is on land owned by Will Stanton, a gift shop owner to takes them on a tour of the cave.

Now, Will (Danny McBride) and his shop are your classic tourist traps. He takes you on a tour that is totally cheesy and then tries to sell you a bunch of crap from his gift store. He’s also total white trash, which seems to be a trait of most of Danny McBride’s character. He is trying to make enough money to build a casino on his land, which would be a bigger and tackier version of his current business.

Inside the cave, Rick decides to activate the tachyon amplifier. This triggers some kind of earth quake, which in turn opens up a hold to another dimension!

The group finds themselves in the middle of the desert. They are confused, but quickly realize they aren’t in Kansas anymore. After a few seconds, they realized they are in a strange new world when they save a caveman-like creature from being sacrificed by one of his own kind.

This young fella is Cha-Ka. Cha-Ka (Jorma Taccone) is a primitive, hairy, and horny little fella. He takes a liking to Holly right away. Holly figures out a way to communicate with him and he becomes their guide/sidekick .

From that point forward, they are chased by dinosaurs, lots and lots of different kinds of dinosaurs, giant bugs, and lizard-men. The lizard-men are a race known as the Sleestak. They appear to have little intelligence and are more lizard than man.

Later on, they encounter an intelligent Sleestak who goes by the name Enik (John Boylan). Enik says that he was exiled by an evil Sleestak named The Zarn (Leonard Nimoy), who plans on invading Earth. Rick, Will, Holly, and Cha-Ka decided to help Enik stop The Zarn before he invades Earth with his Sleestak army.

Critics panned this movie, but I say the hell with that. If something makes you laugh, it makes you laugh, and this made me laugh. When it comes to comedies, that is all that really matters when you get right down to it. You don’t watch a comedy because you want to see great cinematography or award-worthy acting. You watch a comedy because you want to laugh and like I already said, if it makes you laugh, it makes you laugh.

Land of the Lost

Will Ferrell is a pretty funny guy in this movie reviewer’s opinion. Not all of his stuff is great, but when he hits the mark, it’s funny. He usually plays some kind of over-confident man-child and this omvie is no different. But if you are good at something, does it really matter if you are a one-trick pony? Rick Marshall is a bumbling idiot, yet surprisingly confident. Ferrell is able to portray those vastly different traits quite well. He really sells it. His characters are idiots, but he thinks he’s brilliant.

Danny McBride really stole the show here. I didn’t like this guy the first couple of times I saw him, but he’s really grown on me. He’s a great sidekick to Ferrell’s lead. The stuff that comes out of his mouth and the way he delivers just cracks me the hell up. This scene has got one big laugh, but pay attention to a lot of the stuff he says before and after that big punchline.

Cha-Ka was pretty funny too. I never heard of the actor that portrayed him in my life, but he delivered an appropriate performance for this movie. His interactions with the three Earth folk are pretty funny. For some reason Rick seems to think he’s Cha-Ka’s master, but Cha-Ka only half listens. Will and Cha-Ka are boys. It’s like watching two bros hang out. Cha-Ka is loyal to Holly, mostly because he thinks she’s hot, but the interactions are amusing.

Anna Friel is attempting to play the straight man (or women in this case), which can be tough in this kind of stupid comedy. These kinds of characters aren’t given a ton of jokes, so it’s not really their fault. Though I do have to admit, I find the scene where she nicknames the one dinosaur to be hilarious. It’s nothing major at all, but her delivery makes me laugh. She’s so proud of herself, ha!

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on September 2, 2014.

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