The Lost City of Z

"Good"

The Lost City of Z Review


Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the attention, even though the filmmakers kind of let the drama slip through their fingers. It's an impressively designed film, with vivid characters and some rather amazing situations. But the script's structure is too fragmented to build the story's momentum.

It opens in 1906 London, where Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) is assigned to accompany a geographical expedition to the jungles on the border of Bolivia and Brazil. While there accompanied by the intrepid Costin (Robert Pattinson), he discovers signs of a massive ancient city, which he names Z, the ultimate human achievement. Back in England, he reacquaints himself with his fiercely independent wife Nina (Sienna Miller) and plans a return trip with Costin and wealthy benefactor Murray (Angus MacFadyen) to find this lost pre-European civilisation. But Murray causes so many problems that they return empty-handed. The outbreak of the Great War delays Percy from going back to South America, so he heads off to the front to fight. Later, he organises a final expedition to find Z, accompanied by his now-adult son Jack (Tom Holland).

The screenplay has simplified Percy's attempts to find Z (he actually travelled to Brazil around 10 times). But the three trips depicted here begin to feel oddly repetitive, broken up by scenes of impatient domesticity in Britain. All of these sequences are sharply well shot and played, but the overall impact is lessened by all of the travelling back and forth. And many of the long sequences back in Europe feel like asides to the main story of Percy's all-consuming obsession with finding this ancient city, which we now know exists. Hunnam is terrific in the role, with his cut-glass accent and stiff upper lip even in the face of impending doom. He's likeable and passionate, and his scenes with the superb Miller sparkle. Patterson and Macfadyen add some texture as loyal and obnoxious colleagues, respectively. And Holland's quiet charisma very nearly steals the show.

This is a terrific story that deserves to be told, and director James Gray recreates the period and varied settings beautifully. On the other hand, he never gets around to grappling with the bigger themes of colonisation or exploitation, and there aren't any emotional journeys for the audience to connect with. Nor does the film manage to tap into a sense of wonder about what Fawcett discovered. Still, it looks great as it highlights a historical figure who deserves all the attention he gets.

Watch the trailer and clips for The Lost City Of Z:



The Lost City of Z

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 141 mins

Distributed by: Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street Media

Production compaines: Plan B Entertainment, Sierra / Affinity, MICA Entertainment, MadRiver Pictures, Keep Your Head

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Dede Gardner, , Dale Armin Johnson, , Jeremy Kleiner

Starring: as Percival Fawcett, as Henry Costin, as Nina Fawcett, as Jack Fawcett, as James Murray, Johann Myers as Willis, as Brian Fawcett, Michael Ford-FitzGerald as Hunt Leader, Edward Ashley as Arthur Manley

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