“The Lost City Of Z” Is Visually Impressive But Bloated & Underwhelming

Historical adventure drama The Lost City Of Z is a sad case of a film journey being more engaging and captivating than the destination.

Charlie Hunnam stars in this historical adventure film directed by James Gray. Explorer Percy Fawcett is sent to Bolivia and discovers what he believes to be remnants of an ancient and advanced civilisation, and he devotes his life to trying to prove its existence. Robert Pattison and Sienna Miller co-star as Fawcett’s fellow explorer and wife, respectively.

The Lost City of Z is visually extremely impressive. A significant portion of the film is devoted to portraying Fawcett’s excursions to Bolivia, and the use of colour in these scenes is breathtaking. The jungles are full of vibrancy, the lush greens create a sense of wonderment and beauty that is at the same time juxtaposed with the ever present sense of threat and danger. The cinematography creates an environment that is simultaneously beautiful and dangerous. It is as captivating for us as it is for the characters, and makes us almost wish that we could join Fawcett on his adventure.

Hunnam stands out in the lead role, putting on a sombre and emotional performance as the explorer who is desperate and determined to realise his dream and discover the city that he knows to be real. The rest of the cast are good in their roles, especially Tom Holland who plays Percy’s son Jack.

This is not only an adventure film, but also a historical drama, and there are many elements that will attract fans of this genre. There is a lot crammed into this film in terms of the plot, which covers not only Fawcett’s adventures, but also his struggles with his family life and time he spent serving in the First World War.

The result of this is polarising. Whilst it does help to create complex characters and a detailed depiction of their lives, it also feels as though it’s trying to cover too much, bloating the running time. Unfortunately it sometimes teeters on the line between being a long, steadily paced film and being an outright slog.

Made in the style of a historical epic, the tone of the film sets it up to be much more of a grand adventure than it really is. It concludes quietly and mysteriously, and ends up being slightly underwhelming. It is a sad case of the journey being more engaging and captivating than the destination.

The Lost City of Z is a decent adventure film with stunning visuals and good performances all around. It sets out with promise but is overly ambitious, attempting to include far too much into the plot and ultimately failing to deliver all that it led us believe it would.

lost city of z, four stars, film review

Written by Lauren Miles

Directed by: James Gray
Written by: James Gray
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Angus Macfadyen
Released: 2016 / Genre: Historical Drama / Adventure
Country: USA / IMDB
More reviews: Latest | Archive

Top 10 Films reviewed The Lost City of Z on Blu-ray courtesy of Studiocanal. The Lost City of Z is released on digital download July 17, and on Blu-ray and DVD on July 25, 2017.

Lauren Miles
About the Author
Massive fan of film and author of the Reel Truth Reviews.

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