This film acts as a sort of continuation for the regular animated series. Now, I have no real knowledge of that show aside from some of the jokes that have been made in reference to it over the years. So I was really going into this fresh and hoping they would deliver a gritty live action take, and they kind of did. This is a, dancing on the line towards being dark sort of experience.
It’s got that charm you would expect in something that’s for kids, while also having some solid jokes for the adults. They really made some good jabs at the show, in regards to her breaking the fourth wall and by bringing in a small special segment later on in the run time. This should be a treat for fans I imagine, it appears to have all of the characters, and to show them in their natural situations. There actually felt like a sense of adventure, and that this could technically be a younger Tomb Raider. I actually thought there was quite a lot of potential for this to continue.
That being said, some of the situations felt a bit too inspired from older properties. I really got Last Crusade vibes at one point. Still, it was quite an enjoyable venture with some funny moments thrown in there. It was surprisingly good and I had a grand time watching it, it was sort of just what I had expected and more. Something that is great for the younger audience, teetering on the adult side as well.
The acting was solid in this, everyone seemed to really embrace their roles. Madelyn Miranda’s Dora was also shockingly good, she went all in with the zany insane sort of attitude the character has. Trying to always be joyful, teaching and oddly singing some weird tunes. Nothing was too far, and that helped really create what I assume is a realistic depiction of this cartoon character.
Her parents Elena (Eva Longoria) and Cole (Michael Peña) were fun with the latter definitely going all in on this one. The side characters were fine, didn’t find them to be annoying and generally decent additional companions for the journey. There are some neat uses of CGI characters and while I didn’t think they were the best, it was alright as things progressed and I got used to them.
The Swiper (Benicio Del Toro) was usually very entertaining to see in action. The film was beautifully well shot actually, I was surprised. They really delivered on that cinematic quality with dynamic forest shots and a sense of scale despite more of an intimate romp through the jungle.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold presents a more mature explorer, but still one that’s perfect for all audiences. I was pleasantly surprised by this, it provided some good laughs and was entertaining. They had some good jabs at the show while moving past that quickly. It explained the history of the character briefly, to then jump ahead for an interesting intimate adventure.
There were some surprises along the way, things that should be interesting to those that have never seen and show while also delighting past fans. This was well shot, brought some interesting action scenes and always tried to provide some wit. You never were sure what might happen next, and that kept it distinct. The CGI characters were alright, considering how often our monkey pal was present, they could have made him a little less creepy looking. Anyways, it’s actually well done and surprising in many ways.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold Review at Theater with Standard Viewing