Land of the Lost

Every now and again, you come across a movie that for all intent and purposes, you should hate.  For me, LAND OF THE LOST is one of those movies.  It features Will Ferrell playing the same role he’s played a dozen times, a simple but poorly thought out plot, it’s a remake, and over half the jokes are geared towards kids that haven’t hit puberty yet.  But something strange happened to me on my way to hating this film; I started really enjoying myself.  I figure if the great Roger Ebert can like THE ISLAND, then there’s nothing wrong with little ole me liking LAND OF THE LOST.

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Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is a scientist that has been shunned by his peers for his views on alternate realities where past, present and future collide.  He has abandoned his research, but when Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel, who I first fell in love with on the underrated show ‘Pushing Daisies’) shows up and re-inspires him to finish, he gets a new determination to prove his critics wrong.  While conducting a field test with the help of loveable loser Will Stanton (Danny McBride), they get transported to one of the alternate realities that Dr. Marshall had only theorized about.  Stuck in a strange land and encountering weird creatures, the trio must find a way back home.

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You have to take this film for what it is; a stupid movie designed to make you laugh.  Sure, I can destroy the ridiculous plot and point out all the inconsistencies, but this isn’t CITIZEN KANE, it’s a Will Ferrell comedy.  As with most comedies, the single goal of this film is to make you laugh.  With that in mind, I found myself laughing out loud throughout the course of the movie.  Whether it was Will being Will or the gang reacting to the absurdity of the situation, the jokes kept coming and I kept laughing.  Of course, there are plenty of attempts at humor that only a child would laugh at, but there are enough subtleties and “adult” humor to keep everyone entertained.

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For me, Will Ferrell is either really funny (TALLADEGA NIGHTS) or really terrible (SEMI-PRO).  He runs the same schtick in every movie, but even if I don’t find him funny, I always find him likeable.  In this, he has a small, but good supporting cast and I still can’t say enough about how adorable Anna Friel is.  Danny McBride is another actor that has a tendency to run his dumb tough-guy schtick into the ground, but even he managed to generate some laughs.  I could have done without the weird, alien creatures, but they were used sparingly and gave the film a purpose (somewhat) at the end.

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I realize that enjoying this film isn’t the popular opinion, but it made me laugh several times and I was thoroughly entertained throughout.  It won’t win any Oscars and it had some problems, but at the end of the day, it accomplished what it set out to accomplish.  So even though the film has been panned by critics and was plenty stupid; I enjoyed myself and had a really good time watching it.  And that, my friend, is a bitch-slap of truth.


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