Jane And The Lost City (1987)

Rating: **
Review Date: 12/5/22
Cast: Sam Jones, Maud Adams, Jasper Carrott, Kirsten Hughes, Graham Stark, Robin Bailey

A silly and sexy adventure based on the British tabloid comic strip "Jane," that was published between 1932-1959. Taking place during World War II, both Germany and England are trying to find a fabled lost city in the jungles of Africa which is rumored to contain a fortune in diamonds. For whatever reasons, Winston Churchill selects an idiotic Colonel (Robin Bailey) to lead an expedition to recover the diamonds, and he brings his blonde assistant Jane (Kirsten Hughes) and man-servant Tombs (Graham Stark) with him. Jane's dachshund Fritz also plays a pivotal role. The Nazi expedition is led by a cruel woman named Lola Pagola (Maud Adams), and her team is just as silly and ineffective as the Colonel's. As these two groups bungle their way through the jungle, the British ultimately end up with the upper hand due to Jane's feminine charms and the assistance of a musclebound American named Jack Buck (Sam Jones).

It's a low budget affair with a campy sense of humor, which was typical for the time period. The acting is bad across the board, but at least everyone looks like they're having a good time. Sam Jones's delivery is embarrassingly flat, and even though Maud Adams is fluent in German, her generic European accent sounds laughably bad. The running gag in the comic strip is that Jane is constantly losing her clothes, and her dress gets ripped off no less than five times in the movie, leaving her in an awkward state of embarrassment while the men around her enjoy the view. These contrived scenarios are handled with the charm of a Gil Elvgren painting, and are presented as a source of innocent amusement rather than humiliation, exploitation, vulnerability, or lust. I appreciated these playfully sexy moments, and Kirsten Hughes pulls them off fantastically.

It's an innocuous piece of 80's fluff for the most part, although the obsessive Hitler fetishism loses its humorous touch due to the foul stench of Donald Trump still lingering in the recent past. Even so, there are far worse ways to spend an evening.