Dora and the Lost City of Gold: Movie Review

"Dora and the Lost City of Gold" knows what it is and accepts it fully. While the story will leave adults yawning, the undeniably energetic performance from Isabela Moner makes this a lot more enjoyable than it should be.
A 16 year old Dora (Isabela Moner) faces her scariest challenge yet ― going to high school in the big city. A life spent exploring the rainforest with her zoologist mother Elena (Eva Longoria) and archaeologist father Cole (Michael Peña) has done nothing to prepare Dora to face down the most unpredictable creatures on Earth, teenagers. During a school field trip to the museum, Dora and her friends are abducted by a band of thieves who need her to track down her parents to find Parapata, the ancient Lost City of Gold.
We won't deny it, we actually enjoyed "Dora and the Lost City of Gold". We're not familiar with the Nickelodeon television series but we're pretty sure fans will find a lot to love in the film especially a special segment that showcases its roots. Beyond that, the charm of Isabela Moner elevates the film to watchable territory. Her performance was engaging and funny as the naive and uber-innocent Dora finding ways to make each scene bloom with life and laughter. The others in the cast was a mixed bag. Ironically, the older actors didn't deliver but the younger ones did. Even Eva Longoria or Michael Peña had lackluster and forgettable outings here. But enjoying a film doesn't mean its outstanding overall. The weakest point for the film was its narrative. It most likely wanted to retain the essence and spirit of the show but that also meant that this limited it to a very young audience. While it is understandable, a lot of film adaptations of kid-based franchises are able to find a balance to entertain both young and older audiences but obviously this isn't the case here. There's also no emotional arch that we could hang onto. Usually we get a deep bond between parent or child to give some dramatic flair but "Dora and the Lost City of Gold" doesn't have one at all. The film does enough to make you laugh and be a brainless adventure ride. It's acceptable but not great.
Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- turns out to be quite fun due to Isabela Moner

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- this is a film designed for kids and it doesn't do much to make it more than that for adults
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