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Land of the Lost (2009)

Yes, the remakes are well upon us and won’t stop coming. I have lost count of how many of them I have seen rather recently with many more to come. So it is pretty safe to say that this will not be my last review about a remake. This remake in particular is not a retelling of a past film but of a television series. Director Brad Silberling brings us back into the Land of the Lost. The original project aired from 1974 -1976 with it being remade into yet another series that ran from 1991-1992 on Saturday mornings that targeted a child audience.

Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is a scientist/inventor type who has a theory that an alternate universe exists somewhere out there in the
 space time continuum or whatever you would like to call it. He believes instead of going back in time, he can travel sort of sideways through time in order to discover another universe that exists alongside our own. After being thrown off the set of the Today show during an interview with Matt Lauer, he resorts to taking a job at a zoo teaching kids about science. He even puts together a slide show to pitch to them his idea for the device he created, the Tachyon Amplifier, which would allow him to travel through time. After very negative feedback from those kids, he receives a visit from a young woman, Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel), who is another scientist who has studied and believes in his work. She tries to convince him that his theories about alternate universes aren’t a bunch of sheer crap as everyone else has told him and to attempt to build the machine he designed. After pulling an all-nighter which included him paying a visit to every local fast food restaurant in the area and before passing out in his own garbage, he manages to finish the device.

He and Holly immediately decide to test the machine by going to a local cave and poor excuse for a tourist attraction which has a strong pull for the tachyon energy needed to power the device. Led by the lands owner and tour guide, Will Stanton (Danny McBride), they enter the cave and get sucked into a wormhole which lands them in the fore mentioned and title of the movie, land of the lost. A strange place with dinosaurs and oversized creatures that are normally smaller than humans like crabs and mosquitoes, this place reminded me of the jungle that Robin Williams probably got sucked into in Jumanji. Like any good time travel/universe jumping movie, they lose their only way back home ala their travel device upon arrival to this lost land. They meet a native by the name of Chaka (Jorma Taccone) who resembles what a cave man would have looked like in ancient times but with the worst teeth you could possibly imagine. He becomes their guide and ally in their quest to find the device. They also come in contact with a T-Rex who seems to have it out for Dr. Marshall after he insulted him during a chase and a race of reptilian-like beings called the Sleestak who seem to control this world. They meet a member of the Sleestak called Enik (John Boylan), who speaks English perfectly, is a scientist and knows Dr. Marshall somehow. He explains to them that he has been imprisoned by his fellow beings and is being held captive for trying to overthrow an evil dictator. Only the device that Dr. Marshall created will be able to free him from his captivity, so the trio set out on a quest to retrieve the device, save their new friend and return home.

Although funny, this wasn’t Will Ferrell’s best work. He is very classic with random silly comedy and this film is no different as far as he and his character goes but wasn’t as funny as say Step Brothers. Though I’ve seen better from his resume, this movie was still entertaining. He is your typical stupid genius in this film. The guy who is actually pretty intelligent but can’t think on his feet and has next to no common sense whatsoever. Anna Friel provides the sensible female voice while Danny McBride is his usual sidekick character wrapped in craziness. Going a slightly different route than the television series, basing this film on comedy was a good move. With assistance from writers from the series, screenplay writers Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas display a pretty vivid look at what a modern day alternate universe would look like and what it would contain. The dinosaurs are smarter than the ones we learned about in history class and the terrain changes from forest to desert to woods and back again.

With an average plot that’s easy to follow and wholesome comedy mixed in with the raunchy, Land of the Lost is filled with adult humor so it might not be safe enough for the younger kids. But it will have you laughing well into the first five minutes during Ferrell’s altercation with Matt Lauer. I give Land of the Lost “3 Tachyon Amplifier’s out of 5”.

“Matt Lauer can suck it!”


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