"Land of the Lost" is the new Will Ferrell comedy vehicle. It will open in theaters on June 5.
Ferrell plays Dr. Marshall, a wacky scientist who ends up the laughingstock of the scientific community after attacking the quadriplegic and wheelchair-bound Stephen Hawking while being interviewed on Anderson Cooper 360. Dr. Marshall is reduced to becoming a mere tourguide at the La Brea Tar Pits, the only scientific job that would take him. Somehow he, a redneck male sidekick, and a hot young female scientist end up using a homemade time travel device to end up in a place that has both ape-men and dinosaurs, including a large T Rex that apparently becomes a running gag as Ferrell tries to escape it and it tries to eat him.
Obviously a bit of a change of pace for Ferrell- not the comic elements, of course those are in every one of his films- I am referring instead to the science fiction plot line, Jurassic Park meets Valley of Gwangi, with much more money spent on special effects. But it will probably work. Actually the title is a specific reference for a grade B Sci Fi tv show from the 1970's that starred Doug McClure, right? Ferrell is genuinely funny in most of his work. "Blades of Glory" is my favorite. A personal opinion, the reason that one worked so well was that he had other actors to play against. I don't think that Will Ferrell without other characters would work for 1.5 hours- but that is something you could say about most actors. You are only as good as your scriptwriter, after all.
If you want to analyze his humor, it is sort of the opposite of Will Smith. Instead of being funny but cool, Ferrell is funny but stupid. Viewers older than myself would recognize the roots of his humor in the old "Road" movies of Bob Hope. Hope, like Ferrell, plays the fall guy with the big head, constantly thinking he is smarter and more attractive than he really is. In reality of course, everyone else is smarter than he is, including the T Rex. Obviously some people hate this approach to humor, and some people love it.
Well, it's a long summer. You could probably do worse than spending your seven bucks and a couple hours of your life to catch a matinee of Land of the Lost.