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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Lost City of Z

THE LOST CITY OF Z

** SPOILERS **

In The Lost City of Z, Charlie Hunnam, a British Major strangely undecorated despite achieving that rank, is summoned to the Racist Royal Geographical Society by Emperor Palpatine himself (Ian McDiarmid). It is 1906, Europe is on the brink of the First World War, but Palpatine has a strange offer for Hunnam: go to the jungles of Amazonia between Bolivia and Brazil and survey the border between the two countries to prevent a war between them. Palpatine doesn't sugarcoat this sweetheart deal: "There will be terrible sickness, murderous savages, and you'll be gone for years." If he succeeds and, you know, lives, Hunnam gets a medal. Naturally, Hunnam jumps at the opportunity. He leaves behind his pregnant wife Sienna Miller, his young son, and heads to the jungle.

Dressed like Brian Fellows from Saturday Night Live and with an unrecognizable Rob Pattinson along for the journey, Hunnam's adventures in Amazonia involve floating on a rickety wooden raft, getting shot at by spears and arrows by "the Indians" who are all terrible shots, and finding pieces of pottery in the jungle. That last part is most significant; Hunnam realizes the tales of Conquistadors past who wrote about a fabled "lost city of gold" must be true. Hunnam doesn't stick around the jungle to keep looking for the city, though. He goes back to England to a hero's welcome and, in the movie's best scene, Hunnam stands in front of the assembled talking heads of the Racist Royal Geographical Society and argues that they must find the "Lost City of Zed" (they pronounce Z 'Zed' because British). Hunnam gets his expedition funded and back to Amazonia he goes, where he does not find the Lost City of Z and returns to England empty handed, just in time to be sent to World War I and nearly die after being gassed in the Battle of Somme.

Hunnan actually ventures into the jungle three times in Lost City of Z. Three times! Does he find the Lost City of Z? No, he does not. The movie takes place between 1906 and the 1920s, and by the third expedition, Hunnam brings along his grown son, Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Despite all of these walkabouts in Amazonia where the real Charlie Hunnam Leftenant Colonel Percy Fawcett spent years and years in the jungle searching for the Lost City, the movie itself doesn't even spend an hour of screen time in the jungle. Indiana Jones spent more screen time in the jungle in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. This true story tragically ends with Hunnam and son lost in Amazonia; they are never heard from again and the movie never shows us the Lost City. This is a gigantic ripoff. You know what? It doesn't matter what actually happened. This is a movie and there are rules to movies. By the third fucking time Hunnam goes into the fucking jungle, the audience deserved to see the fucking Lost City of Z. Even the stupid flying saucer Indiana Jones saw is better than no payoff at all.

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