There are some nice lines, game performances, midrange CGI and a worryingly unfunny credits sting in this otherwise likable adventure-comedy in the tradition of Romancing the Stone. Sandra Bullock plays Loretta, the author of a novel franchise-series about a Lara-Croft-type badass discovering exciting secrets in far-flung places with her lover Dash. But Loretta has to live with the fact that her books are bestsellers because of the hunky male model, Alan (Channing Tatum) who always appears on the front covers “playing” Dash – and this temperamental, over-moisturised gym bunny now gets to appear on stage with Loretta on her book tours, preening and pouting like Magic Mike for the simpering fanbase. But when an evil bearded British billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) kidnaps Loretta and takes her to a mysterious island because he is convinced she can tell him about ancient treasure there, silly Alan has to toughen up and be the swashbuckling hero he dreams of being, by rescuing her.
There are some amusing touches and quality cameos, including one from Brad Pitt as the (genuine) tough guy that they initially hire to find Loretta. Bullock duly has a stunned piece of dialogue with him: “Why are you so handsome?” “My dad was a weatherman.” There is also Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Loretta’s manager Beth, who has her own adventure getting to the island to ensure her client is safe.
This is all amiable enough, with the all-important dimension of laughs: Tatum and Bullock showing that they are smart enough to know how silly it is, and that they know that we know that they know. There is also a very bizarre scene, apparently inspired by The African Queen, in which Bullock has to pluck blood-sucking slugs from Tatum’s rock-hard buttocks and is then reduced to gibbering inarticulacy at the sight of his penis. I don’t remember Katharine Hepburn doing this with Humphrey Bogart.