Will Ferrell has made some really funny movies like Blades of Glory and Step Brothers, but he’s also had some real stinkers too like Bewitched and Semi-Pro. Will’s newest film, Land of the Lost, is without question the worst movie of his career.
Land of the Lost is based on a popular 70’s TV show with the same name created by Sid and Marty Krofft. In the big screen version, directed by Brad Silberling (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events), Will plays Dr. Rick Marshall. Time warps and parallel universes are always on Rick’s mind. Rick’s fellow scientist think he is a fool. After meeting Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel, TV’s Pushing Daisies), a fellow scientist who is fascinated with Rick’s work, she convinces him to finish building his space travel machine that would allow a person to go to anywhere in the space-time continuum. Rick and Holly race out to the desert to test their contraption where they meet quick-talking Will Staton (Danny McBride, Pineapple Express), a local river guide.
When Rick’s space gizmo is activated, he along with Holly and Will are transported to a very, very far off land. There are monkey-people known as Pakunis, lizard-people known as Sleestaks, a T-Rex and other dinosaurs roaming this strange land. Rick, Holly and Will can’t find Rick’s space gadget, which they need if they want to get back home. There is also a Sleestak that wants to use Rick’s invention to go to Earth and take over the world.
TV writer Chris Henchy and veteran SNL writer Dennis McNicholas fail miserably to write anything funny in this movie. The “bathroom humor” that is often abundant in Will Ferrell movies is just about nonexistent here. Without any funny dialogue, laughs are sought out by having Will involved in different bits like running away from an angry T-Rex while screaming and crying for help. Or when Will tries to tip-toe through a nest of Pterodactyl eggs while singing show-tunes. The result…nothing. No laughs! No chuckles! No giggles! No grins! Nothing!
Before Land of the Lost, Danny McBride was in the fast-lane heading toward comedy super-stardom after humorous performances in Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder, along with his well received HBO comedy series Eastbound and Down. Land of the Lost serves as a major pothole in McBride’s highway to success. He delivers a series of one-liners and some slapstick antics throughout the movie, but none of it is funny. A big disappointment for fans of the up-and-coming McBride.
Anna Friel’s main function in this movie is to be the straight person in this Ferrell and McBride comedy sandwich. She does a good job, but her ability to communicate with the Pakunis as if she has been speaking their language all her life is ridiculous. One Sleestak’s voice should sound very familiar to you, especially if you are a Star Trek fan. (Hint: only 2 Sleestaks talk in the movie, so it shouldn’t be hard to figure out)
The only slightly amusing scenes are the opening and ending involving Will Ferrell and Matt Lauer as Rick is interviewed on The Today Show. This is the only somewhat humorous dialogue in the movie and there is fairly good comic interaction between Will and Matt.
Land of the Lost should have stayed lost in everyone’s memories as a cheesy 70’s TV show. This updated version accomplishes one thing: being a top contender for worst movie of 2009.