Starring: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride
Directed by: Brad Silberling (“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”)
Written by: Chris Henchy (debut) and Dennis McNicholas (“The Ladies Man”)
There’s so much improvisation in the new adventure film “Land of the Lost,” one could honestly wonder why screenwriters were even paid to churn out a script. Actors Will Ferrell and Danny McBride riff off each other so poorly and so many of the jokes fall embarrassingly flat, it’s implausible to think either of these two comedians actually thought any of what they were saying on the set was remotely humorous.
In the remake of the short-lived early-90s TV series of the same name, Ferrell plays Dr. Rick Marshall, a “quantum paleontologist” who is ridiculed from the science world after he announces he has found a way into parallel dimensions using “tachyons,” subatomic particles that move backwards and allow people to travel to a time where the past, present, and future co-exist.
Along with Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel), an inspired Cambridge researcher, and Will Stanton (Danny McBride), a backwoods tour guide and shopkeeper, the trio is sucked into a time portal by the doctor’s invention – known as the Tachyon amplifier – and dropped into a world where dinosaurs are running through deserts littered with famous landmarks and Hummer limos.
There they meet a primate named Cha-Ka (Jorma Taccone), who can somehow communicate with Holly, and a killer T-Rex, who is basically in the movie to roar and run after the explorers, which is not necessarily a bad thing if it stops Ferrell from blurting out lines like, “Captain Kirk’s nipples!”
Besides the tired computer-generated dino (phlegm spewing included) and some costumed-monsters that are about as interesting as something pulled straight from a “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” episode, most of the film relies on Ferrell and McBride doing their thing. This includes singing show tunes and Cher songs, incorporating parodies of beer commercials into their skits, and performing the usual bodily-fluid humor.
It’s all very cheesy like the original show and none of it needs to be taken as serious entertainment since it all so very uncreative. Tacky and lowbrow humor is fine, but in “The Land of the Lost,” it’s simplified to its dullest form. It would get a slight pass for its stupidity if it wasn’t for Ferrell and McBride looking like they’d rather be anywhere else except earning a paycheck for what is sure to be one of the worst films of the year.