The Lost City (Paramount, 3.25) is a lightweight, 100% synthetic “adventure” comedy in the vein of Romancing The Stone (’84). I didn’t hate it but there was no way to engage with or get lost in it. Not a chance. It’s pure jizz-whizz, and I just sat there in the fourth row like an overripe canteloupe or, you know, a half-eaten watermelon.

It did strike me as being primarily aimed at women and gay guys. No straight male could possibly give this film a thumbs-up or even a “whatev”. Because it’s emptiness incarnate. Harmless vapor.

When the show broke at the Century City AMC plex I was walking behind a youngish hetero couple, and as we hit the lobby the woman waved at a friend and gave her a thumbs-down gesture.

Right now the Rotten Tomatoes rating is 95%; Team Metacritic has given it a 67%. Most critics are shameless whores.

Based on the trailers I expected Brad Pitt to be some kind of supporting player. The promos made it clear that the leads are Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, but the expectation was that within the film’s helium-balloon, wank-off scheme Pitt would be a steady secondary principal. Early in the Dominican Republic section (i.e., 85% to 90% of the film) Pitt and Tatum make a good team. I was saying to myself “this is good…I like Pitt’s energy and scruffy dominance…if he hangs in there I might be okay with this.”

And then he’s suddenly gone. Right away I muttered to myself “to hell with this…no Pitt, no fun…eff this movie.”

None of the action scenes pass muster; none of the running-around-and-climbing-mountains stuff is even faintly credible. Half of the insert shots look like sound-stage sets, and a lot of the images look CG-enhanced. Most of the jungle photography was shot with a drone.

Daniel Radcliffe plays the yuppie bad guy — no killer lines, no funny scenes, doesn’t hold his own, boring to hang with.

One earmark of a sucky movie is that the bad guys have no personalities — no wit or flavor or stand-out attitude of any kind. The Lost City bad guys are the same exact stooges you’ve seen in a hundred other action films. Remember Richard Masur, Ray Sharkey and Anthony Zerbe‘s bad guys in Who’ll Stop The Rain (’78)? It never got any better than that. They were darkly funny, eccentric, deranged, vulnerable, and they never once winked.

All through the film Tatum is wearing a standard flat-top haircut (i.e., a little length on top). Near the end he suddenly adopts a butch cut (i.e., just this side of a shaved-head thing). It makes no sense that he would change his hair at the very end — he just does.

Poor Da’Vine Joy Randolph, whose affecting performance as Lady Reed in Dolomite Is My Name put her on the map, plays a spunky book publicist. She’s amusing from time to time, but I couldn’t get past one of the apparent ideas behind her casting in this film — i.e., to normalize her appearance.

Repeating: I didn’t hate this film. If some ticket-buyers have a good time with it, fine. I just kept saying to myself “who could give a shit about this?”