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H. Gordon Boos
Portia de Rossi
A man in Central America finds his brother's murdered body. It turns out that his brother has been murdered because he knows the whereabouts of a lost city in the jungle. The man teams up with a search expedition and goes off to hunt for these ancient ruins. Unfortunately, almost every member of the group has plans to double-cross the others. All is resolved in bloody fashion in the middle of the jungle wilderness. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <email@example.com>
'Forbidden City' is a modestly-budgeted adventure yarn, that actually is fairly well-made and exciting! The story of an expedition searching for a lost Mayan 'City of Gold', it relies on the usual cliches of jungle movies (double-crossing team members, venomous animals, the ever-popular capsizing boat in a raging river), but serves it up with a kind of brawny acceptance, best personified by Fred Ward, as the adventurer leading the party ("Don't expect tears; you play the cards you're given.") By keeping the story moving, you find you don't mind the familiar territory as much!
The opening is reminiscent of 'Romancing the Stone'; an American archeologist in Central America calls his brother, begging him to bring a Mayan plate that had been a gift to their mother. The brother (Robert Patrick), an insurance investigator, agrees, but arrives a day late, with fatal results for his brother!
Upon arrival, Patrick discovers his brother's body, and is taken into custody by the police; upon release, he is immediately chased by the gang of thugs who murdered his brother! At the last moment, he is rescued by a pretty Italian archeologist (Chiara Casselli), who explains that the plate is a map, which, when joined with another plate, will give directions to a lost city with a fortune in gold. The second plate belongs to an American millionaire (Fred Ward) who is prepared to finance and lead an expedition. This is where the adventure REALLY begins!
Robert Patrick, best known as 'Terminator 2', and as Scully's new partner on 'The X-Files', is, as always, a bit wooden as the lead, but he can deliver a one-liner with just the right degree of sarcasm! Casselli is lovely, with jet-black eyes, and a more modest sexuality than you usually see from the female lead in this kind of film. The real 'star' here is Fred Ward ('The Right Stuff'; 'Tremors'), who conveys cockiness, arrogance, and pathos with equal skill. He is always fun to watch, and gives an 'A' movie performance in this 'B' movie!
If you want a jungle 'classic', check out 'The Emerald Forest', but if you're in the mood to kick back and relax with a good no-brainer 'lost treasure' flick, try 'Forgotten City'! It won't win any prizes, but it will serve up a nice helping of old-fashioned adventure!
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