The Lost City of Z depicts the exploratory work of Percy Fawcett (played by Charlie Hunman) who went on multiple escapades into the depths of the Amazon to find evidence of advanced civilisation. Now, the film depicts itself as the truth but if this Spectator article is to be believed (and I have a lot of faith in the Spectator!) it’s actually a skewing of the already skewed truth presented in David Grann’s book of the same name. Regardless, The Lost City of Z is a slow burning but highly watchable adventure film.
The Lost City of Z doesn’t bring anything particularly innovative or exciting to the table; James Gray’s screenplay flows along at a gentle pace with just enough sporadic intrigue to hook the viewer along. At times the plot defies logic and frustrates in the way it gets seemingly close to breakthroughs before turning back and starting all over again just as something is about to happen. It’s a compelling watch only because you’re waiting for the film to get to its crux, but it never really does so in any sort of satisfying way.
Despite its flaws, this lengthy piece is kept afloat by some strong, sincere performances by its lesser characters including Sienna Miller as Fawcett’s wife, Tom Holland as his son and Robert Pattinson as his friend and fellow explorer. Hunman definitely portrays Fawcett a someone who knows where his life’s work should be, it’s through the performances of those around him that we see the consequences of his conviction.
The Lost City of Z is highly watchable thanks to its atmospheric visuals and solid performances but the plot continually repeats and frustrates. It holds up even less under the knowledge that it’s not an accurate depiction of the truth. Overall, I give The Lost City of Z a rating of 3/5.