The Lost City of Z (2017)

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The Lost City of Z

This film kind of crept on me but when I found out what it was about, I was interested. The expedition and mysterious disappearance of Percy Fawcett was curious upon reading about it, and I wanted to check out and learn more about his life leading up to that. I really liked The Immigrant by James Gray, especially because of a stellar showing by a very talented Marion Cotillard. I didn’t expect sensational performances here (not a big fan of Charlie Hunnam based on what I’ve seen). I’ve heard critics rave about this film but I was feeling ‘eh’ about what I saw.

As mentioned earlier the film is about the life of Percy Fawcett, starting off with his early expeditions and gradual progression and obsession with a lost city of ‘Z’ that he has heard of from a local. The film progresses and portrays different moments of his life, leading up to his final expedition where he disappeared with his son. The film has some really great looking scenes. The sunsets, the jungles and the aerial views look fantastic. The scene with the dark jungle and river with lights is absolutely gorgeous.

While the film often looked beautiful, I felt like the writing of the film wasn’t always sharp. With a biopic (especially one with a larger scope) its important to avoid skipping over crucial periods. This film jumps forward quite a bit so you kind of lose a bit of development and intrigue in what goes on. The film is overlong, which isn’t exactly a problem if the film remains engaging throughout but that is not what happens in this case. The film needed a bit more urgency and you could tell that the film was padded.

I haven’t seen Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy but I have never been impressed with him in film. Its the same here. He lacks charisma and just seems to be a straight laced man that’s going through the motions. In contrast, Siena Miller was excellent, very underrated performer. This is also a cool look into seeing future Spider-Man, Tom Holland. Even Robert Pattinson was decent. I’m not sold on Hunnam as a leading man, which is why I have no urgency to check out the new King Arthur film.

I thought the final expedition and the re-imagining of it was strong and evoking. I wish that could be stated for the rest of the acts of the film. I was hoping to get a lot more out of this film. Its not bad but its just not something that fulfilled its potential. There’s a certain something to the pictures of James Gray though; an alluring element. I’d still be interested to see what he can do in the future.

6.5/10

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