Land of the Lost Movie Review
Those are but two of the many strange (and yes, strangely funny) things Will Ferrell does in Brad Silberling's Land of the Lost, an acid-trip take on Sid and Marty Krofft's already kitschy television series that aired on NBC in the mid-'70s. Ferrell tones down his trademark immaturity but ramps up the crippling ego to play Dr. Rick Marshall, a scientist focused on unraveling time travel who's discredited after a televised spat with Today show host Matt Lauer (convincing as himself).
Three years later, Marshall has abandoned his research into tachyon particles and teaches science to unappreciative brats. Not for long. Encouraged by a supportive research assistant Holly (Anna Friel) and accompanied by trailer trash Will Stanton (Danny McBride), Marshall embarks on a routine expedition and ends up journeying through space to a mystical -- and intentionally campy -- world filled with gorilla men, lizard creatures, and an impressive CGI Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Land of the Lost delivers big-budget, summer-movie spectacle as it honors its cheesy TV roots. Silberling's rampaging creatures and lumbering Sleestak benefit from modern effects tools (anything improves over the original television program), while his crew conjures imaginative set pieces that take us into a pterodactyl's egg-filled nest and through a rummage sale of discarded earthly artifacts such as a motel (with its pool intact) and the Golden Gate Bridge.
To be fair, this re-imagined Lost is as much of a nonsensical head-scratcher as the source show. But Ferrell and McBride keep the dry, improvised lines coming at a rapid pace -- taking the humor down some surprisingly adult avenues, including an extended, hilarious drug sequence -- and the sight of a dinosaur freezing from within before exploding is, to date, the coolest effect I've seen this summer (no pun intended). Stay through the end credits, as well, to find out who voices The Zarn, leader of the saucer-eyed Sleestak. He's having a busy year.
Mmmm, anchorman for dinner.