Monday, July 24, 2017

The Lost City of Z

The story of Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), a British colonel whose disgraced family name prevented his Army advancement and who, in several perilous trips up the Amazon river, saw a way to redeem it, seek insight into the misunderstood indigenous people, and find a mythic lost jungle city that would prove their advancement. Filmed on a beautiful canvas, James Gray’s somber Amazonian adventure piece is captivating in segments, but languidly paced and probably should have been drawn tauter while ultimately lacking resonance and paling somewhat to the great jungle river works of Coppola, Herzog, or Huston. Though Hunnam gives it an earnest go, I can’t help but think the project would have fared better on another, stronger actor’s shoulders. As for the rest of the cast, Robert Pattinson provides a quieting, stoic presence as Fawcett’s assistant, Miller seems lacking as the worried, progressive minded wife, and Angus Macfayden is memorable as a cowardly national hero who joins one of Fawcett’s expeditions.
*** out of ****