My Review

The Lost City of Z (2017): Nice Biopic with Fully Loaded Stuffs

I can’t find their official movie site but this site might help for more information about this movie.

Said to be an adaptation of David Grann’s 2009 nonfiction, The Lost City of Z (read: The lost city of Zed) is the biopic of Lt. Col. Percival “Percy” Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam at his best, forget his cartoon performance of King Arthur), British army and explorer who is sent by Royal Geographical Society to render map between Brazil and Bolivia. His first expedition starts from Bolivia, from where he is accompanied by Henry Costin (a thickly bearded and almost unrecognizable Robert Pattinson) and Arthur Manley (Edward Ashley). He successfully reach a point where no white man ever reached, mapping the upper course of Rio Verde and come back to England, bringing his discovery of alleged ancient civilization older than Europeans.

With the help of his independent and strong wife Nina (played brilliantly by Sienna Miller), he discovers that the pottery he found at the Amazon could be a lead into the ancient city of Z, the real world version of Eldorado. When he presents his discovery in front of the Royal Geographical Society conference, his idea is mocked, but somehow he gains trust and support for another expedition into the Amazon, this time they are accompanied by former Antarctic explorer James Murray  (Angus Macfayden). This second expedition leads to nothing, and makes Fawcett even loses his support. His third and final expedition is held after World War I, where he is now accompanied by his teenage son Jack (Tom Holland), with the support of US Press and John Rockefeller.

I almost underestimate this movie since in Indonesia, it releases at the same date with Wonder Woman. So no wonder that all the moviegoers attention goes to DC Extended Universe’s new release of the most iconic female superhero of all time. However, this movie turns out to be a good biopic of the British Explorer, though like any other biopic, they want to fit so many things into a 141 minutes movie. The war scenes feels compulsively forced into the story, but Fawcett’s exploration is rich and beautifully shot, thanks to Darius Khondji’s nice cinematography of the dense Amazon forest. The exploration feels like the combination of Apocalypse Now (1979) and Indiana Jones franchise with showing us the real danger of what lies beneath the forest, from natives who try to survive their territory to mother nature who is ready to kick out those who tries to make destruction.

The action also feels real, Charlie Hunnam shows his talent of this egocentric and determined army plus explorer who is thirst enough of glory. This is maybe his best performance so far for me, although his shine is easily faded when compared to Sienna Miller’s performance of his wife Nina. Miller, without looking like she’s working so much, looks both independent and vulnerable as a wife that has to raise three children alone while her husband is busy exploring Amazonian forest.

This movie is rated PG-13 for its nudity and violent words, so be careful to bring your young children watching this.

I give this movie 7.8/10.


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