Director: Adam Nee and Aaron Nee
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Oscar Nuñez, Patti Harrison, Bowen Yang
Runtime: 1 hr 52 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Sexual References and Violence)
Released By: UIP
Opening Day: 21 April 2022
Synopsis: Brilliant, but reclusive author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) has spent her career writing about exotic places in her popular romance-adventure novels featuring handsome cover model Alan (Channing Tatum), who has dedicated his life to embodying the hero character, "Dash." While on tour promoting her new book with Alan, Loretta is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who hopes that she can lead him to the ancient lost city's treasure from her latest story. Wanting to prove that he can be a hero in real life and not just on the pages of her books, Alan sets off to rescue her. Thrust into an epic jungle adventure, the unlikely pair will need to work together to survive the elements and find the ancient treasure before it's lost forever.
Sandra Bullock is a lucky woman. Remember the rom com The Proposal (2009) which she co starred with Ryan Rynolds? There was a hilarious scene where a naked Bullock slips and falls onto an equally naked Reynolds. She was probably the envy of many women around the world.
Thirteen years later, the 57 year old actress goes on to star in this action adventure comedy co starring Channing Tatum. One scene that will go down history involves Tatum stripping down after he gets covered in leeches, and he gets Bullock's help to remove them. After removing leeches from Tatum's butt, he turns and asks him to make sure there aren’t any leeches on his front side. One can only imagine what the actress saw up close during the filming of this sequence.
In the movie, Bullock plays Loretta Sage, an archaeologist turned romance novelist who doesn’t enjoy what she is doing anymore, having to write books which leave women fantasising about going on a buckswashling adventures with a beefy dude. The hunk that graces her novels is Alan Caprison (a fitting role played by Tatum), a tall and handsome model who wears a long blonde wig and dons a loose and unbuttoned shirt at Sage’s latest book launch.
After a boo boo at the event, Sage gets abducted by a villainous English media tycoon (Daniel Radcliffe in yet another unconventional role so that people can recognise his diversity after the Harry Potter days), and taken to a forgotten island to look for a treasure. Caprison arrives on the island and the two embark on an adventure that imitates the stories penned by Sage.
Directed by the Nee brothers (Aaron and Adam), this 112 minute movie is a breeze to sit through, thanks to the easy and winning chemistry between Bullock and Tatum. With credentials like Miss Congeniality (2000) and Two Weeks Notice (2002), Bullock has proven herself to be one of Hollywood’s favourite romantic comedy actresses. Her latest work shows how she commands the screen with her effortless charm. Although Tatum is 16 years younger, there’s no awkwardness when the two are paired on screen. Furthermore, the charming 41 year old actor has gotten quite a bit of street cred with his varied performances in movies like White House Down (2013), The Hateful Eight (2015) and Logan Lucky (2017). Hence, he pulls off the character of a dishy, dim witted but kind hearted male model really well.
While the movie may not be the most exciting tomb raiding action adventure flick or the sweetest romance comedy you’ve seen, it has enough to make you laugh (just imagine Tatum walking on stage in all seriousness as his novel persona), feel anxious for the protagonists when they are trapped in tight circumstances and go “aww” when they put aside their differences to eventually become an item. The storyline is predictable, but we aren’t expecting this movie to win any awards. Plus, there is a cameo appearance by Brad Pitt, and he is a scene stealer which makes this crowd pleaser a nice popcorn movie to enjoy from beginning till end.
(Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum's winning chemistry and charm make this popcorn movie an easy crowd-pleaser)
Review by John Li