The Lost City of Z Ultraviolet Code
Better than average explorer-adventure movie
By Paul All are TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE on April 22, 2017
"The Lost City of Z" (2016 release from the UK; 141 min.) brings the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett. As the movie opens, we are told it is "Cork, Ireland, 1905", and we get to know Major Fawcett and his wife Nina. Even though he wins the prestigious deer hunt event, he isn't highly regarded ("he choose the wrong ancestors", sneers one).
The next year, Fawcett is transferred to the Royal Geographical Society in London, and it isn't long before Fawcett is asked/offered the opportunity to settle a border dispute between Bolivia and Brazil. Off he goes, and the adventure of a lifetime awaits. At this point we're 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the big screen adaptation of the book of the same name, directed by James Gray (best known for his film "The Immigrant" a few years ago). Here, Gray gets the opportunity to bring an epic adventure to life. Indeed, once the story settles in South America, one cannot escape the gorgeous photography. But thankfully it's not just eye-candy, as the story telling is quite solid. In particular the second half of the movie soars, as we see what becomes of the quest for this legendary location.
Along the way, we even get treated to a tough episode in WWI, shot with a veracity that rings true. Charlie Hunnam in the lead role of Percy Fawcett gets his meatiest role to date, and Sienna Miller is quite good as his wife Nina. But the big surprise is surely Robert Pattinson, unrecognizable as Fawcett's sidekick Henry Costin (it's only when I saw the end credits roll that I realized this was Pattinson). Last but not least, Christopher Spelman delivers a rousing orchestral score,
"The Lost City of Z" premiered last Fall at the New York Film Festival. It finally opened in theaters this weekend, I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely, somewhat to my surprise. If you are in the mood for a better than average exploration adventure movie, I'd readily recommend you check out "The Lost City of Z", be it in theaters, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.