I think we can all agree that Will Ferrell gives great idiot, but there's a certain flavor of Will Ferrell idiot that I love more than any other: the reckless idiot who's always this close to harming himself or others thanks to his buffoonery. The sleazy idiots he played in The Campaign, Semi-Pro and Blades of Glory are each funny in their own way, but I'll take the potentially dangerous idiots of Anchorman, Zoolander and Land of The Lost any day of the week. In fact, I'll take those last three in general.
The first two, Anchorman and Zoolander, have long-since been embraced as post-millennium comedy classics (for the record, I agree with the former, less so the latter), but Brad Silberling's Land Of The Lost has never been given the respect it deserves. Maybe it was Ferrell fatigue. Maybe it was the invasive and wildly annoying TV marketing blitzkrieg rolled out by Subway. Maybe people assumed the film's source material meant that the film would be one of those "kinder, gentler" Will Ferrell movies no one really likes (see also: Kicking And Screaming). Or maybe people actually listened to the critics, the overwhelming majority of whom warned people against seeing it. Whatever the case, Land Of The Lost bombed hard at the box office, grossing less than $50m Stateside against a $100m budget. I always sort of assumed that people would come around on the film once it hit DVD and Blu-ray. Alas, this has not been the case.
But its defenders are out there, starting with the majority of the BAD staff (indeed, 'twas a BAD staff conversation about Land Of The Lost that caused me to choose this film over my original pick for "Movies About Idiots Week," Oliver Stone's W). Here's what the defenders will tell you: the film's dark and weird and richly quotable in the same way that all the best Will Ferrell/Adam McKay movies are; it features some genuinely inspired set design and effects work and it's got a denim-vested Danny McBride (always, always, always a plus) in a substantial supporting role.
It also features one of the best "Characters Getting Stoned" sequences put on film in the last two decades (you can watch the first-half of that scene below; you'll have to finally catch up with the movie to see the rest, and you should). I mean, make no mistake: Land Of The Lost definitely has a wide streak running through it that's meant to appeal to children - it's candy-colored, it tosses out the occasional poop joke and the plot's got that same sense of "we're making this up as we go along" that Sid and Marty Krofft's original kids' series had - but it's also shot through with plenty of material that'd appeal to (cool) parents. Or incredibly stoned twenty/thirtysomethings.
Land Of The Lost is a movie I'm genuinely bummed isn't a bigger "thing" with people. Cheer me up and give the film a shot the next time you're looking for something idiotic to watch. If you don't have a good time, I swear we don't have to be friends anymore.