Making the Grades
Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is not what you’d call a credible sort of scientist. While there is a miniscule possibility he is one of those eccentric, visionary individuals poised on the brink of a new discovery, it’s more likely he’s not.
Even if he does make a breakthrough, it will be hard to find someone to believe him, especially after the self-absorbed researcher throws a tantrum on the Today Show (similar to another famous guest) with host Matt Lauer. At a result of the outbreak, Rick is kicked out of his research lab and reduced to eating M&M stuffed donuts while rehearsing his theory of time travel to a classroom full of uninterested and mouthy Junior High students.
Luckily, Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel) comes to his rescue. A former student at a prestigious university, Holly stumbled across Rick’s research while at school and is enthralled with the possibility of an alternate universe. Egged on by her encouragement, he finishes his time travel machine and then the two of them use it to follow a vortex signal. It leads them to a dilapidated, tawdry tourist thrill ride, a kind of tunnel of horrors, in the middle of the desert. But before Will (Danny McBride), the scummy boat ride operator, agrees to take the two of them into the spooky passageway, he tries to sell them a mug fashioned in the shape of a woman’s unclothed upper torso. (His crude sales pitch likely won’t endear him to any of the female members of the audience.)
Finally, Will, Holly and Rick board an inflatable raft and head through the attraction’s murky, factory run-off water. Once inside, their tachyon machine opens a portal and they are thrust down into a world where lost things collect—like that scary space underneath the cushions on a couch. Among the discoveries are dinosaurs, lizard men, wrecked planes, an ice cream truck and a primate named Cha-Ka (Jorma Taccone). And of course, there’s an evil plot to take over Earth.
But this odd assortment of creatures is only part of what audiences will encounter on the adventure. Rick’s antics in this lost world include pouring dinosaur urine over himself, self-pleasuring and consuming an unusual juice with narcotic-like qualities. Audiences also see him running around in his underwear and attempting to exchange an intimate kiss with a male primate. As well, Cha-Ka has an obsession with Holly’s female attributes and is often shown "handling" her. Other sexual oriented jokes include crude comments about surgical procedures, alien mating habits, human body parts and homosexuals. Profanities, a crude ethnic joke, and an irreverent religious remark also mar this script.
The movie is based on a children’s sci-fi television series from the 70s. Unfortunately in the mess of all these misplaced objects, any hint of family entertainment gets lost in a horde of crude humor that is not okay in this world or any other.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Land of the Lost.
How do you feel about humor that attacks ethnic, religious or sexual groups even if it is done in a comedic setting? Would these same kinds of comments be acceptable outside of the movie theater?
If you could time travel to any point in history, past or present, when would it be?