(director/writer: Adam Nee, Aaron Nee; screenwriters: Oren Uziel, Dana Fox/story by Seth Gordon; cinematographer: Jonathan Sela; editor: Craig Alpert; music: Pinar Toprak; cast:  Sandra Bullock (Loretta Sage), Channing Tatum (Alan), Daniel Radcliffe (Fairfax), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Beth), Oscar Nuñez (Oscar), Patti Harrison (Allison), Bowen Yang (Event Moderator), Brad Pitt (Jack Trainer); Runtime: 112: MPAA rating: PG-13: producers; Liza Chasin, Sandra Bullock, Seth Gordon: Paramount Pictures; 2022)

A screwball comedy that’s as silly as hell.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A screwball comedy that’s as silly as hell, set in the jungle (gorgeously filmed in the Dominican Republic by the DP, Jonathan Sela). The filmmaker brothers Adam Nee and Aaron Nee (“Band of Robbers”) use the standard issue rom/com plot to keep it credible and succeed even if the material is not fresh. It’s an updated version of Robert Zemeckis’ 1984“Romancing the Stone.”

The middle-aged Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) is a reclusive romance novelist on a book tour to promote her latest novel ‘The Lost City of D,’ at a time she suffers from a midlife crisis after the recent death of her archaeologist husband, John. She’s with the dimwitted and annoying cover model, Alan Caprisan  (Channing Tatum). He plays the hero figure of Dash McMahon in the movie versions of her novels. Alan witnesses Loretta being kidnapped, but the police don’t believe him. They think it’s a publicity stunt cooked up by her publicist Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph). But the kidnapping is for real by the eccentric billionaire and playboy, Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe). He nabs her because the author used authentic ancient hieroglyphics, now a dead language, as a way for her fictional hero, Dash McMahon, to discover the lost city in the novel where there’s a tomb filled with an enormous treasure. The eccentric believes that Loretta knows where the lost island in the Atlantic is and forces her to translate a piece of ancient parchment he found.

Beth and Alan hire the former Navy Seal, Jack (Brad Pitt), now a CIA agent, to rescue the author in the jungle.

When Jack is killed, Loretta and Alan, stuck in the wilderness, try to get to the lost city before the kidnapper and his goons.

It worked for me as a fun escapist film that was highly entertaining. Brad Pitt, in a cameo, steals the film.