Bullet Points: Forgotten City aka The Vivero Letter
What a fantastic time we live in. The age of streaming movies is a movie lovers dream come true. 1000’s of choices at our fingertips 24/7.
Recently I was using this amazing viewing power and perusing the offerings over at Popcorn Flix when a movie caught my eye. It was titled Forgotten City.
What immediately caught my attention was that Fred Ward (Remo Williams himself) was in the movie. When I saw that Robert Patrick was in it as well, I figured it was worth checking out.
The movie is also known as The Vivero Letter, named after the book it was based on written by Desmond Bagley.
- The Premise: James Wheeler (Robert Patrick) travels to Central America after his brother calls asking for his help. When he arrives he finds out his brother died and it has something to do with a mysterious lost Mayan city that contains gold. Wheeler is befriended by Caterina and together they join an expedition that is being led by Andrew Fallon (Fred Ward).
- D.T.A.: As you might imagine with a fortune waiting for whoever finds it, the members of the expedition are all leery of one another. I know I wasn’t a fan of Raoul Gato from the start, but that’s because he’s a politician and everyone knows they are hard to trust in everyday life let alone on a quest for gold through the jungle. So every member of the expedition is following the wisdom of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and that is D.T.A. (Don’t Trust Anybody). While the greed and motives of each member of the expedition does create some intrigue, it is not enough to help the story move at an enjoyable pace. The movie seems to drag more often than not which is not a good thing.
- Fred Ward: At one point, Robert Patrick’s character talks about how he should despise Andrew Fallon, but even with all his ego and bravado, he actually is beginning to like the guy. That is the magic of Fred Ward. Ward, much like Sylvester Stallone, has a quality about him that is hard to hate no matter what role he is playing. And for me Ward and his character Andrew Fallon were the one bright spot in this movie and the only thing that saved it from being on my dreaded What Not To Watch list.
This felt like a movie that probably looked good on paper, but it was not executed to the fullest. The action level could have definitely been taken up a notch or two to make this movie flow better. There was never a great sense of urgency to the film. Even when Wheeler gets the desperate call from his brother, who is in over his head, Wheeler tells him he can’t be there right away because he has his quarterly review at work the next day. I admire him being a dedicated employee. I don’t think enough people have that kind of work ethic today, but this isn’t an insurance claim investigator training film, this is supposed to be an action/adventure flick.
If you are a big Fred Ward fan like me, you may want to check out Forgotten City. If you are a Robert Patrick loyalist, you may want to check out Forgotten City. If neither of those descriptions apply to you then’t then I’d have to suggest you use the power to stream one of the other 1000 movies available.
Or maybe you want to go to the library and check out The Vivero Letter book… they always say the book is better than the movie.