Will Ferrell actually is a highly accomplished actor, which makes his performance in the big-screen adaption of “Land of the Lost” so disappointing. As Dr. Rick Marshall, Ferrell basically plays the same character that he perfected in films such as “Kicking and Screaming.”
By playing it safe, Ferrell pleases his die-hard fans, but does a major disservice to those who enjoyed the campy, Saturday Morning television series from Sid and Marty Krofft. Director Brad Silberling (“Lemony Snicket”) lets the comedian chew up the prehistoric scenery, but destroys some fond childhood memories in the process.
Dr. Rick Marshall Tries to Save the World in “Land of the Lost”
To eliminate the world’s dependence on oil, Dr. Marshall proposes tapping into the energy created by warps in space and time. Marshall believes this would give the world an almost limitless supply of energy, but his theories are dismissed by just about everyone, including the famous Dr. Stephen Hawking.
Marshall, Will and Holly End Up in a Real “Land of the Lost”
Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel from “Pushing Daisies”) finds proof, though, that Dr. Marshall’s theories are correct. With her encouragement, he builds a device to amplify tachyons, the particles that travel backwards in time. Unfortunately, Marshall’s device works too well, and they, along with a souvenir-selling outdoorsman named Will (Danny McBride), are transported into a strange prehistoric world.
This “Land of the Lost,” as Marshall refers to it, is filled with dinosaurs, monkey-like creatures and slow moving lizards called Sleestaks. The trio also meets Enik (John Boylan), a lizard scientist who offers to help them find the way back to their own world.
This “Land of the Lost” is not good for Kids
One of the most popular kid’s shows from the 1970’s, the original “Land of the Lost” took itself quite seriously and was quite fun to watch. The big screen version, on the other hand, is overflowing with blue humor, making it completely unsuitable for children.
Throughout the film, Will Ferrell simply does a comic impression of the character originated on the TV series by actor Spencer Milligan. As shown by his serious turn in “Stranger than Fiction,” Ferrell can be a good actor when he wants to be, but he does too much parody and not enough acting in this adventure.
Anna Friel Outshines Her Co-Stars
Anna Friel, who was so good as Chuck on the “Pushing Daisies” television series, turns in the best performance of anyone in the cast. Director Brad Silberling undercuts her work, though, by slowly stripping her of clothing and dignity. Other characters openly grope her and, by the end of the film, she’s wearing little more than a t-shirt and short-shorts.
Definitely not kid stuff, “Land of the Lost” gets tangled up in its own twisted plotlines and dirty jokes. It almost looks like the original show was sucked through a vortex in space and time and came back all warped and twisted.
“Land of the Lost,” rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content and for language, including a drug reference, currently is playing in theaters.