In a cinema landscape filled with live action Disney Princesses, Jedis and Avengers battling it out at the box office, the epic historical drama filled with action and incredible “true” stories have become an after thought for Hollywood studios. Today’s audiences aren’t to keen on history lessons when they could see babies wearing suits or cars that transform into robots. Even though the landscape has become bare for the movie crowd looking for something other than fantasy, there are a few films that make their way into theaters with an incredible story that is unknown and deserves attention. The Lost City of Z starring Charlie Hunnam which is based on the life of legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett definitely falls into this category.

The Lost City of Z examines the life of Percy Fawcett who was a famous explorer during the first quarter of the 20th Century. Charlie Hunnam portrays Fawcett who was sent to map out Amazonia in South America in the early 1900s. Fawcett spent years away from his family and risked his life for his country and king. The Lost City of Z  is a fascinating and also frightening depiction of early exploration in South America. Considering the resources that were available to the men braving the unknown in the early 20th century, the Amazon river might as well have been the moon. Every trip up the river was one you would likely not return from and The Lost City of Z instills that since of fear in the audience.

James Gray gives the audience a man who may not be the hero or trendsetter he believes himself to be in The Lost City of Z. He’s an interesting character to watch deciding on how you feel about his yearn for adventure. On one hand he is going where no Christian man has gone before and lived to tell about it, but what about his wife (Sienna Miller) and family he leaves behind for years at a time. At times Fawcett seems to be more comfortable in the jungle than dealing with the British social hierarchy who mock his theories. It’s hard to blame the guy considering the beautiful lush scenery presented on-screen in The Lost City of Z and the simple approach to life the native people have adopted.

The Lost City of Z is an eerily beautiful film to watch even if some of the scenes drag on a little too long considering they shove all of Percy’s life into a 140 minute running time. The main issue with the film is the casting of Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett. The former Sons of Anarchy star isn’t bad in the role, but he doesn’t bring anything in terms of creating depth or emotion within the adventurer who sacrifices a great deal for personal glory. Hunnam may just be average in the role, but luckily Robert Pattinson is there to carry the extra weight. Pattinson is almost unrecognizable as the loyal Henry Costin who accompanied Percy on many of his expeditions. The intriguing subject matter and the strong supporting performances from Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson help make up for the lack of charisma in Charlie Hunnam’s leading role.

Overall, I give The Lost City of Z 3 out of 4 stars. 

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