Based on the best-selling book, The Lost City of Z is the true-life drama of British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.
The adventure epic is something of an endangered species. We rarely see explorers on the big screen, venturing into uncharted terrain where foreign dangers lurk, even though those stories are cinematic. The Lost City of Z which dramatizes Percy Fawcett’s adventures in South America, is a thrilling reminder of the genre’s potential. The real-life British soldier made multiple trips to the Amazon during the early 20th century in search of an ancient civilization.
The Lost City of Z was directed by James Gray, who created this sprawling saga that whisks audiences from Cork, Ireland, to the rain forest to the trenches of World War I France. The movie is long, but I never felt it was slow, even as it slowed to allow ample time for viewers to enjoy the breathtaking vistas.
Hunnam gives his best performance to career as Lt. Col. Percy Fawcett. To make Fawcett a logical, upstanding guy, the story never fully convinced me of his obsession with returning to find the lost city. As portrayed by Hunnam, Percy is devoid of ego-driven madness or extreme passion, doesn’t seem the type to leave his family and return to a place that nearly killed him. But off he goes anyway back to the great unknown. The choice might be hard to fathom, even reckless, but it was a thrill to watch from the safety of my seat.
The heavy bearded, bespectacled and unrecognizable Robert Pattinson gives a strong performance as Fawcett’s loyal and brave partner in exploration, Henry Costin with enthusiasm. Together they stumble upon unforgettable dangers and beauty in the Amazon.
Sienna Miller has played the understanding wife in many films and she always adds dimension to the character. In this, as much as Nina supports Percy, she has an adventurous side herself. She even proposes going along on one of his adventures to the Amazon as she grows weary of his goodbyes leaving her to raise the children.
I recommend this film to viewers that enjoy historical adventures that transports you to a world so exotic, lush and mysterious, it feels like you’re on another planet. The Lost City of Z does contain war violence with some disturbing images, brief strong language and some National Geographic style nudity. Best seen on the largest screen possible.