There, surprisingly, aren’t a ton of movies out there with dinosaurs. There are even fewer dinosaur movies that are actually good. The Will Ferrell sci-fi film Land of the Lost certainly doesn’t fall into the “good” category, but it’s an entertaining enough watch, and you can check it out now on Netflix.
Land of the Lost, starring Will Ferrell, is streaming on Netflix.
Loosely based on the 1974 television series of the same name, Land of the Lost follows Will Ferrell’s Rick Marshall, who is sucked into a space-time vortex along with his assistant and a survivalist. The vortex transports them to a land that is populated by dinosaurs and creatures known as Sleestaks.
As you might expect, this is definitely a comedy, so don’t expect some commentary about the hubris of controlling nature like some better dinosaur films out there.
Land of the Lost even nabbed, for some reason, Oscar and Emmy-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up) to compose the score for the film.
Land of the Lost is directed by Brad Silberling with a screenplay co-written by Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas. Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, and Danny McBride star, along with Jorma Taccone, John Boylan, Ben Best, Leonard Nimoy, and Matt Lauer as himself. While the film has a pretty solid lineup of comedy greats, it unfortunately did not live up to its cast or fun premise.
Land of the Lost got tons of negative reviews upon release, and it was an absolute box office bomb, grossing only $68.8 million against its $100 million budget. On top of the negative reviews, the film was nominated for a whopping seven Golden Raspberry awards.
It won the “award” for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel. It was definitely a disappointment because this was Will Ferrell’s next film after Step Brothers, which is arguably his funniest.
Land of the Lost even nabbed, for some reason, Oscar and Emmy-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up) to compose the score for the film. Of course, a good score from a top-notch composer isn’t enough to save a film. Simply put, Land of the Lost just isn’t one of Will Ferrell’s best efforts.
The film is a parody of the original TV series, so those who liked the show may get some more enjoyment out of the comedy than people who haven’t seen it. The first names of Will Ferrell’s character and the other co-leads stay the same, but otherwise, they were changed in a lot of ways for the film. While the TV show originally followed a father and his two children, the children’s roles were changed the most dramatically.
The girl, Holly, was changed to an unrelated research assistant to Will Ferrell’s character and instead served as a love interest, while the son, Will, is a theme park owner in the film.
Ferrell’s Rick Marshall is also a paleontologist in the film, rather than being a park ranger like in the TV show. Also, the original TV show was a kid’s show, while the film is definitely targeted at adults (presumably those who grew up watching the show).
This year was especially good for Ferrell as he wrapped up the final season of Succession, a series he executive produced.
While the quality of the film surely played a part in it flopping, you would still think that the next Will Ferrell comedy after Step Brothers would attract more moviegoers. However, the film had the unfortunate timing of opening the same weekend as The Hangover, which was one of the best comedy films of that year (if not that decade).
That factor, combined with the poor reviews, made Land of the Lost one of the costliest box office flops of the early aughts.
Of course, Will Ferrell was more than able to recover from such a box office blow and has since gone on to make much better films and produce quite a few amazing projects as well. This year was especially good for Ferrell as he wrapped up the final season of Succession, a series he executive produced. He also appeared in the highest-grossing movie of the year as the CEO of Mattel in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.
It’s a shame that Will Ferrell’s Land of the Lost didn’t end up being a good movie because, as mentioned, we definitely need more good dinosaur movies in Hollywood. The recent Jurassic World trilogy, sequels to the still-undisputed “greatest dinosaur movie of all time,” was disappointing, and Adam Driver’s 2023 sci-fi 65 also failed to live up to expectations. Maybe we’ll get a better-quality reboot of Land of the Lost in the future, but until then, you can check out this version on Netflix.