209) Land of the Lost (2009) Dir: Brad Silberling Date Released: June 2009 Date Seen: July 6th, 2009 Rating: 2.25/5
In Brad Silberling's revival of Sid and Marty Krofft's campy Edgar Rice Burroughs' spinoff Land of the Lost, the mediator between head and heart is the groin. So much of the film's time is spent taking the piss out and onto Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell), mad scientist and babbling egotist, that it rarely remembers that it's set in a world of Sleestaks and T-rexes. Screenwriters Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas are so fixated on showing that Marshall, the brainiac that discovers "tachyon" rays and the portal to an other dimension, is just as ineffectual as Will Stanton, Danny McBride's simian-like yokel, that they suck all the fun out of the preposterous world they stumble through for 101 painfully drawn-out minutes.
The weirdly endearing prehistoric other dimension they visit is reduced to jokes about the size of a dino's brain--big enough to outsmart Marshall at every turn, apparently, da-hoyk!--and neutered, "family-friendly" jokes about reptile dicks, poop and pee. What made the original TV show so wonderful was how eager it was to show off its gemstone-powered technology and lizard people. It was cobbled together from flimsy styrofoam, cheap rubber and lots of by-now hideously outdated greenscreen technology but it was earnestly off-the-wall. This film reshapes that silly world to make fun of the show's childishly overzealous, self-assured protag. That's not pop progress, that's just needlessly cruel.
Note: I liked Ferrell for the most part because I still think his brand of blustery posturing is pretty good even though the material he's given is pretty lousy. In other words, I laughed but then stopped short after I processed what Ferrell was saying.