Land of the Lost (2009) Brad Silberling
Production Budget: $100 million
Gross: $49 million
I really don’t like Will Ferrell. He is the very definition of taking an idea and beating that dead horse till it’s a soft red mush on the ground. Yeah, he was funny and fresh on SNL. Anchorman is an incredibly funny movie. But that’s when the charm and hilarity started to fade. Talladega Nights, while still a little funny, was the marked moment where Ferrell jumped the shark as it were. The joke suddenly began to be how many permutations of movies he could make on his screaming man-child formula by simply changing his clothes. We started at screaming man-child as a weatherman, to man-child as a race car driver, to basketball player, to an elf, to a children’s soccer coach, to finally there were no more clothes and he’s just a loud man-child in Step Brothers. I’m just waiting for the inevitable Quantum Leap solution and they turn Ferrell to a woman. But that didn’t bother me none, I simply ignore the unfunny oaf much like I ignore Tyler Perry movies. However, where Ferrell started simply ruining his own ideas he is now ruining other people’s good ideas in Land of the Lost. Of course, we can make Ferrell a screaming man-child scientist! Brilliant!
Now I’m not going to scream childhood rape on account of ruining Land of the Lost because frankly I don’t remember a single episode anymore. It was lost in a muddle of children’s shows like Camp Candy and Beetlejuice: The Cartoon that I simply lost track of it. However I will say that we did not need to torpedo a good movie idea in order to make yet another forgettable Ferrell comedy and to throw an unbelievable $100 million dollars at it. I guess you could say part of the charm of the old show was how it worked despite the cheesy effects and if you going to make a parody you could make a parody of that. But instead its Ferrell running around a green screen taking off his clothes…again.
The story (such as it is) has Ferrell as a scientist who somehow creates a machine that can jump people sideways through time and space. Yeah, I don’t know I kinda zoned out when they tried to explain anything. Anyway, Ferrell, his love interest, and a white cracker (played by a character actor who specializes in playing an annoying white cracker in every movie) get sucked through a time warp to the Land of the Lost.
Land of the Lost is, at its heart, a stoner comedy. It features a constant barrage of sex, drug, munchy, and toilet humor that would have been worn out 20 years ago. The film is a misfire because you really don’t expect a stoner comedy out of a show like Land of the Lost. It’s like having an episode of Little House on the Prairie and having it be about mime rape. Oh wait, there was an episode where one of the characters got raped by a mime. Anyway, you get what I’m saying. Now maybe (and that’s a big maybe) if you are big in to stoner humor, then maybe you will have a good laugh at this. I’ll admit that stoner humor really isn’t my bag and it’s a select few of that genre that I think are genuinely funny. But even then, I don’t think the writers do anything really new to stand out above other stoner movies.
The plot is almost non-existent. In fact, we finish the movie at about the hour mark. The characters then putz around doing nothing for another 10 minutes when it almost seems like the writers realized
“Shit! We can’t end this movie at 70 minutes!”
“Well, we already got our characters out of danger and just about wrapped up the main conflict”
“I know, but, damn! Write some padding about them getting high for about 15 minutes. Then we’ll have the bad guy come back one more time for a final FINAL fight.”
I will admit, I chucked a few times during this movie. The rest of the movie though is a series of drawn out jokes that almost made me yearn for a season of Family Guy. Most of the jokes you have already seen in the trailer so it is almost a waste of time. Scratch that, the whole movie is a waste of time. Normally, I would have ignored this, but because of the title (and of course the fact it bombed) I had to review it. Just ignore it, and it will eventually be banished to the $1 bin where it will never be heard by anyone again. One last thing: Why Leonard Nimoy? WHY?