Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019). Film review of the adventure starring Isabela Moner

Isabela Moner as Dora in Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Standard

Action/adventure/fantasy

star rating 3 out of 5 worth watching

Film review, by Jason Day, of Dora and the Lost City of Gold, the teenage adventure movie about a young explorer. Based on the Dora the Explorer cartoons and books, it stars Isabela Moner in the title role.

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Synopsis

16 year old Dora (Isabela Moner) lives with her explorer parents (Eva Longoria, Michael Pena) in the South American jungle. She knows a lot about the terrain, animals, plants and survival but clueless about teenagers.

Her parents decide to make amends for her relatively sheltered up bringing by sending her to High School to stay with friends in Los Angeles where her positive outlook and naivety make her few friends.

But when her parents, who are looking for a mythical Inca city of gold, go missing she is kidnapped along with three other kids by people who want the treasure. It’s up to these four young people to save the day.

Review, by @Reelreviewer

There are a lot of things more dangerous than a wounded animal. A healthy animal, for starters.

Dora (Isabela Moner).
Poster of the film Dora and the Lost City of Gold

This is probably one of the least political movies ever made (unless you count the brief sojourn to a Los Angeles High School, as Dora navigates the politics of teenage peer groups) so I should avoid going too far with any analogies.

But hey, it’s Friday, it’s been a good week, I have a glass of wine on the go and I’m in a mood to have a pop at Donald Trump. As if one needs an excuse.

This is after all the day when he – half seriously? – announced the US should buy Greenland from Denmark.

Quite what he makes of the planet’s collective chuckling I don’t know, but I do know he wouldn’t settle down for a night at the movies to watch this film, cast as it is (and very well it is cast) with largely Mexican/Spanish/Latin actors.

And what a cast we have. Cute Moner (Instant Family, 2019) as the perky, perpetually smiling and positive Dora (even when busting her ‘Disco Dorca’ animal moves, sealing her social suicide), an earthy, smart Eva Longoria, genuinely funny and daft Michael Pena (his house music impression is pretty much as what a Dad who hasn’t stepped foot in a club in 20 years would give) and, voicing the kleptomaniac fox Slider, Benicio Del Toro.

Try building a wall around these stars, Trump!

Based on the US educational cartoon created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh Valdes and Eric Weiner, this teenage Ms Indiana Jones suffers from a noticeable dip in action when Dora swaps the leafy forest for the concrete jungle of L.A.

She spends her first night in California sleeping outside, looking up at the stars…only to be rudely woken up by a plane.

Director James Bobin and the production team create some quite gripping sequences (scorpions approach Eugenio Derbez’s head as he is stuck in quicksand; Dora is stuck between two stone plinths that threaten to squish her) and the good humour is maintained throughout.

Unlike the other movies I’ve seen of late, this one actually lives up to the fun and frantic trailer.

Find out more by visiting the official Paramount website.

Cast & credits

Director: James Bobin. 1hr 42mins/102mins. Paramount/Paramount Players/Walden Media/Screen Queensland/Burr! Productions/Media Rights Capital/Nickelodeon Movies. (PG)

Producer: Kristin Burr.
Writers: Matthew Robinson, Nicholas Stoller.
Camera: Javier Aguirresarobe.
Music: John Debney, Germaine Franco.
Sets: Dan Hennah.

Isabela Moner, Eva Longoria, Michael Pena, Joey Viera, Jeff Wahlberg, Madeleine Madden, Nicholas Coombe, Eugenio Derbez, Temuera Morrison, Danny Trejo (voice only), Benicio del Toro (voice only).

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