I don't want to get too worked up over the impossible waste of time and money that is Land of the Lost, because ultimately it's just another Will Ferrell knuckleheader - he takes off his shirt, thrusts his chest tufts and beer gut, and says dopey stuff that'll elicit laughs.
But really, a $100 million production that monopolized six Universal soundstages, employed hundreds of people including jobs in "creature foam" and "prosthetic teeth" (OK, I guess employment is a good thing), and had the supremely talented production designer Bo Welch reimagining sets that were made for a few bucks back on the original '70s TV show - isn't that emblematic of everything that's wrong with modern-day Hollywood?
Big over small. Special effects over story. Excess, excess, excess.
But like I said, I'm not going to let it ruin my day.
And going to see Land of the Lost - director Brad Silberling's epically silly homage to Sid and Marty Krofft's much-beloved Saturday morning series - won't necessarily ruin your day, either.
With Ferrell as Dr. Rick Marshall, a "quantum paleontologist" with big ideas about time travel and "transdimensional energy," Land of the Lost jumps from the Today show set (Matt Lauer "interviewing" Marshall) to the La Brea Tar Pits (Marshall talking to kids about dinosaurs) to, well, the titular land of the lost.
Said place is accessed via a portal located at a third-rate California desert tourist trap presided over by the redneck doofus Will Stanton (Danny McBride). The professor and his plucky British research assistant, Holly (Anna Friel), go there, get in a raft with Will, and next thing you know the trio are whirlpooling down a space-time vortex - landing in a place full of caves and rocks, jungles and temples, dinosaurs and Sleestaks - bipedal reptilians with goggle eyes and rows and rows of pointy teeth.
"The past, present and future are mashed up together," Marshall explains, looking over dunes where a Viking ship and a Cessna plane lie together, and where bits of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Great Wall, and a Union 76 gas-station orb dot the landscape.
This is also where Chaka (Saturday Night Live's Jorma Taccone), a furry missing-link teenager, resides. The primate boy speaks in a strange language of grunts and squawks (a UCLA linguist was hired by the studio to develop a vocabulary!) and can't keep his hands off Holly's breasts. She doesn't seem to mind.
Ferrell's Marshall runs around in his Florsheim zipper boots, fleeing a ferocious T. rex and the slow-moving Sleestaks, ultimately facing off against Enik the Altrusian - a smarter, nastier Sleestak who dwells in a Dali-esque field of light crystals and glassy cones. Enik wears a tunic.
"Never trust a dude in a tunic," warns Will. Other quotable moments from Land of the Lost: Marshall's exclamatory "Captain Kirk's nipples!" and a joke based on mishearing the words chorizo tacos.
Not exactly a hundred million dollars' worth of classic comedy.EndText