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5 movies to watch if you like The Lost City

Original action-adventure comedies are proving harder to come by on the big screen these days. Granted, some superhero movies manage to capture the charms of the genre, but there’s nothing like watching a normal person suddenly find themselves in a deeply strange situation. The Lost City, which follows a writer of paperback fiction fantasies after she is kidnapped, is precisely the kind of fun that many people look for on a quiet weekend in early Spring.

The Lost City is unlikely to win any critics’ prizes at the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its origins in a well-worn genre. Action comedies set in the jungle are a part of Hollywood’s history, and these are the five entries in that genre that pre-date The Lost City and offer the same mixture of comedy, action, and romance that make the Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum movie so appealing.

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone
63 %
Genre Adventure, Action, Comedy, Romance
Stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
The most obvious forerunner to The Lost CityRomancing the Stone starts from a remarkably similar premise. Telling the story of a writer of romantic adventures who finds herself in the middle of a real one following her sister’s kidnapping, Romancing the Stone is the kind of action-comedy that The Lost City almost certainly aspires to be. While Channing Tatum seems to be going for more of a lovable idiot than a charming rogue, Romancing the Stone is sure to scratch the same itch as The Lost City.
Romancing the Stone | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Tropic Thunder
71 %
Genre Action, Comedy, Adventure, War
Stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.
Directed by Ben Stiller
Tropic Thunder feels like the last of a kind of comedy that never gets made anymore. Telling the story of a group of movie actors who go out into the jungle to make a war movie and find themselves hopelessly lost, Tropic Thunder is a Hollywood satire dressed up like an action movie. It’s uproariously funny, and it’s best moments pit the comedians in the ensemble cast against one another to hilarious effect. Tropic Thunder is more graphic than The Lost City, but it likely has some of the same wild energy.
Tropic Thunder (2008) Official Trailer - Ben Stiller Movie HD

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
58 %
Genre Adventure, Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart
Directed by Jake Kasdan
A major hit that doesn’t seem like it should be one, the Dwayne Johnson version of Jumanji is a silly movie about four teenagers who find themselves trapped in a video game. Much of the humor comes from the way the four teens are mismatched to the actors who play them in the game, but Jack Black and Karen Gillan, in particular, manage to generate plenty of laughs as people obviously uncomfortable in their bodies. Jumanji is a high-wire act, but it’s got just enough laughs and action to make it one of the silliest ways you can spend an afternoon.

The African Queen (1952)

The African Queen
91 %
Genre Adventure, Romance
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Directed by John Huston
Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn on a boat in Africa — what more do you need from a movie? The African Queen isn’t as funny as most of the movie’s on this list, but it fits the mold of something like Jungle Cruise or Romancing the Stone in its combination of a world-weary man and a woman in need of a guide. The movie is chiefly about the banter between the two of them, but it also wrings plenty of joy out of the boat that it takes its title from. She may not be a beauty, but she gets the job done, and we get to see a lot of actual Africa circa 1950 (when the movie was shot) in the process.
The African Queen (1951) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Jungle Cruise (2021)

Jungle Cruise
50 %
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Jungle Cruise is pretty direct lift of The African Queen, with a more family-friendly, fantastical bent. Starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson as a treasure hunter and a seasoned boat captain, respectively, the story follows them on what essentially amounts to a treasure hunt where they are pursued by a cartoonish Nazi played by Jesse Plemons. Jungle Cruise is no masterpiece, but it has the right combination of adventure and comedy to make it a great way to follow up the joys of The Lost City. 
Disney's Jungle Cruise | Official Trailer
Movie images and data from:
Joe Allen

Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.

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