This adaptation of Dora is stuck in its teens and might attract some kids!
When a popular cartoon is made into a movie, it immediately attracts a lot of viewers who are fans of the cartoon! Same is the case with Dora the explorer’s live-action adaptation film titled as Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Coming across as a complete, adventure film for family and kids, how did it turn out for the fans of Dora?
Dora as we know is a young girl who loves the jungle and exploring it. She, along with her parents resides in the deepest of forests of the Amazon. Her cousin Diego and her monkey (Boots) are her best buddies and her life just seems perfect with all the animals in the forest. However, her parents want her to go to the city, make friends and finish high-school. Simultaneously, there is also a constant search for an ancient Incan city, that holds the richest of jewels in the form of gold. How Dora and her team of teens set-out to stop the treasure-hunters from stealing the gold from this lost city forms the rest of the story.
To start things off from the basics, when we see our favourite character on screen, we expect the same sort of look and feel that we experienced in our cartoon. On those grounds, the casting equation looks decent as Isabela Moner looks perfect for Dora. Her cousin Diego played by Jeff Wahlberg is also good and so are her other two friends who join her in her quest. Even though these 4 characters are decent, the rest of the casting could have been a lot better. Both actors playing Dora’s parents looked artificial and the emotions that involved their scenes was diluted. Some other characters like the bad guys too leave no impact at all. It is easy to point out that the Swiper Fox and Monkey Boots were the best of the characters, thanks too the nice VFX work.
The entire film runs within 2 hours but there seems to be an issue with respect to the engagement. In fact, the first few scenes in the jungle followed by the sequences in high school were actually quite entertaining for teens and the family audiences. But once the film enters the forests for the entire latter half, one might feel a drag. This is mainly because of the fact that the screenplay was never unpredictable. Agreed, the film is made for the kids but it tries hard to impress adults too. In fact, this brings us to the major issue that the film adaptation faces. Just like the age group of the title characters, the film is also stuck in its teens, trying to impress both the kids as well as adults. The result isn’t quite how the makers thought it would turn out to be.
Some of the scenes that are mention worthy are the scenes that have the kids at the museum and the escape from the aircraft to the jungle. In the latter half, majority sequences have traps in the form of a flooding room, a quicksand, thorns, lotus flytraps, etc. The problem is that none of these even look dangerous to the naked eye. The entire trap scenes do not excite audiences due to the fact that we know that they are part of the sets that have been laid out for the shoot. It could have been a lot more realistic.
Technically, Dora is not bad at all. Like most Hollywood films, the cinematography is good and the VFX even better. The fox and the monkey save a lot of scenes and we just wish the same sort of work had been put into the writing of scenes involving humans too. The pre-climax has a good twist but many of you might guess it midway. The climax scenes involving the city of gold are well shot and the film ends in a usual manner.
Overall, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is that film which is a typical attempt at making fans of a franchise come and enjoy their favourite characters in the nearby cinema screens. But what lets down this film directed by James Bobin is the screenplay and the lack of a grip. Some kids would just enjoy Dora and the way she is. There is no adulteration to the character or its ways from which you would have enjoyed seeing her on television. But what could have made this Nickelodeon cartoon into a memorable film is a lot more effort in the writing and execution of scenes. With a more interesting premise and finesse in writing, we may have witnessed a justifiable conversion of the hit cartoon!
Verdict: Dora’s film is an average adaptation with some elements for the children, woven into a usual plot!