Dora and the Lost City of Gold review round-up: James Bobin's 'highly sanitised' film is 'neither funny nor touching'

FP Staff

Jul 30, 2019 15:50:11 IST

Dora and the Lost City of Goldthe live-action adaptation and continuation of Nickelodeon's popular animated series Dora the Explorer, is all set to release on 2 August in India.

Starring Isabela Moner as the titular character, Dora and the Lost City of Gold features the story of Dora’s life, as she leads a group of teenagers in an adventure to save her parents (played by Eva Longoria and Michael Pen) and also solve the mystery of a lost Incan civilisation. Unlike the original animated version, Dora will not be seven but a teenager. The film has been directed by James Bobin.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold review round-up: James Bobins highly sanitised film is neither funny nor touching

A still from Dora and the Lost City of Gold. YouTube screengrab

Ahead of its release in India, take a look at what critics are saying about the film

Peter Debruge of Variety says, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold goes out of its way to establish that the character isn’t a tomb raider or a treasure hunter, but rather an explorer, risking her life for the love of knowledge. That makes her perhaps the most 'woke' big-screen adventurer since the invention of cinema, making Indy’s indignant, 'That belongs in a museum!' seem so 20th century by comparison."

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter writes, "Except for some of the jargon and the interracial cast, this is a film whose sensibility and aesthetics lie squarely — in both senses of the word — in the 1950s. Imparting the air of having been highly sanitized and thoroughly rinsed, this late summer Paramount release is squeaky clean and unhip to an unusual degree, its commercial success resting all but exclusively on a built-in fan base."

"The entire first act of Dora and the Lost City of Gold plays as though screenwriters Nicholas Stoller (Night School) and Matthew Robinson (Monster Trucks) couldn’t decide what they wanted the film to be: Is it a coming-of-age story? A fish-out-of-water tale? A by-the-book play on the original TV series? Or is this supposed to be Mean Girls for Gen Z? The tone is so uneven at times that the Spanish (which Peña, Longoria, and Moner all speak fluently) sounds forced — as if the screenwriters wanted to make a statement: 'See? This is a Latino family!'," says Yolando Machado of The Wrap.

Tim Grierson of ScreenDaily echoes Machado's sentiments. "Isabela Moner has a few fun moments as Dora, who must find her missing parents while embarking on a dangerous quest, but the film never quite decides if it’s a loving spoof of Dora The Explorer’s sillier elements or an Indiana Jones-style action movie for pre-teens. Not very funny and never especially touching, this Dora feels dispiritingly perfunctory — a two-hour babysitting tool that leaves little impression."

Updated Date: Jul 30, 2019 16:13:14 IST