“Why are things exploding?”
Genre I’d put it in: Action Rom-Coms Much Better Than Their Trailers Let On
Release Date: 2022
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Feels like a 21st Century Romancing The Stone, and shares its title with1920 and 1935 action films, but is original.
Story: It’s been over five years since superstar romance novelist Loretta Sage became a widow, and she’s been absolutely over writing love stories for quite some time now. But when a billionaire adventurer set on making a name for himself kidnaps her because he thinks she and her late hubby knew about “The Lost City of D” [giggle]? Loretta’s gung-ho book-cover model Dash (Alan Caprison IRL) decides he’s gonna save her. Hey, he knows CrossFit, so they should be good, right?
Gotta say: City looked good in trailers. Bullock, Tatum, Radcliffe, Pitt? C’mon; take my money. But this felt like a summer film, so I worried all the good stuff was in those trailers. But nope; City feels like the love-child of Romancing the Stone and Galaxy Quest, and I’m here to tell you it was a blast. From the amazing comedic chemistry between Tatum and Bullock to the gorgeous wide-shots of jungle landscapes, to the beautiful score (and killer songs), this film is meant for the big screen, and all the treats your little tummy desires. Boosted and ready to hit the multiplex for a laugh? Your wish is this film’s command, y’all.
First things first; I have to talk about that song list. What? It slaps. From 80s jams like Europe’s “The Final Countdown” and Tone Lōc’s “Funky Cold Medina” to 21st century bops like Latto’s “Big Energy” and “Far From Any Road” by The Handsome Family, City knows y’all are coming to this film ready for a good time, and these songs mean to help deliver. Throw in a few beautiful classical and Latin slow jams, and a just-the-right-side-of-bombastic score from Captain Marvel‘s Pinar Toprak, and City is a great film to pick to show folks how music can amp up a cinematic story. And hey; we even get to see Tatum and Bullock dance. So, applause all around.
Okay, now on to the character and story thingies. Bullock does a great job showing how beaten down and afraid of connection Loretta has become, even years after her husband’s death. The way Loretta slowly, cautiously, comes out of her shell as Alan tries to save her from her kidnappers, and begins to re-discover her love of the research she’d done is Bullock using the screenplay to maximum effect. She also looks like she’s having an absolute blast, something I hadn’t truly seen in her since The Proposal. Tatum plays Doofus That’s Deeper Than You Thought to a T, and after seeing him ham it up to 11 in that long blond wig? I’m dying to see him work with Chris Hemsworth in a goofball comedy. C’mon Hollywood Gods, momma requires merriment of this caliber. Oh, BTW, Pitt and Tatum dig into the pretty-boy clichés with absolute glee. So yeah, add Pitt to that goofball comedy roster please, and thank you.
Da’Vine Joy Randolph plays Loretta’s BFF/PR Goddess Beth, and doesn’t steal every scene she’s in. NO. Instead, she gives 110% while letting the stars shine. To breathe life into a character so well that I get excited when the plot stops and Beth takes the stage? That’s some serious talent. Then again, Randolph went to Yale Drama School y’all. Yep. So soak it in. This review’s special shout-out goes to Oscar, the pilot that wants to be Beth’s more-than-BFF, played by Oscar Nuñez. Holy The Proposal reunion, Batman! Nuñez riffs on his character from Proposal here, and as with the comedic chemistry between Tatum and Bullock, that chemistry is also on point between Randolph and Nuñez. Oh – and Daniel Radcliffe’s Abigail “IT’S A GENDER NEUTRAL NAME” Fairfax is delightfully unhinged, with Radcliffe tearing into the villain and all of Abigail’s eccentricities with just enough rabid enjoyment to be funny, but not forgetting to be a bit menacing as well.
So, what else? Well, City taught me lots of things that I can add to my life-lessons sheet. “I’m not helping any more handsome strangers” = WORD. “Don’t do mean stuff on a bike” = FACTS. And, of course, “Do I need to be wearing a glitter onesie?” = BUT YEAH THOUGH. So go see City, and laugh it up, chuckles.
#Protip: Stay for the end-credits; there’s a mid-credits scene that’s fun on its own, but could hint at a sequel. She said hopefully…