Universal Studios
Has-been scientist Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) faces off against a T. rex nemesis named Grumpy in the intermittently amusing "Land of the Lost".

LAND OF THE LOST — ★★ — Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride; rated PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity, drugs, brief sex, slurs, brief gore, nude art); in general release

There's nothing wrong with a little dumbness in a movie. In fact, most of the bigger summer blockbusters are so heavy on action and special effects and so light on story or character that they qualify as "dumb fun."

However, "Land of the Lost" is really dumb. And not in a good way.

This big-screen adaptation of the popular Saturday morning kids show is full of lowest common denominator humor. That includes bodily functions jokes and a preponderance of sexual gags and references.

As a result, this only intermittently amusing film isn't going to win over any new fans of the divisive Will Ferrell.

He stars as Rick Marshall, a disgraced scientist whose crackpot theories regarding "quantum paleontology" have fallen on deaf ears.

But he has one believer: British paleontologist Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel, from TV's "Pushing Daisies"), who has convinced him to field test his theories and a cobbled-together device.

Marshall's invention works. But as a result, he, Cantrell and redneck tour guide Will Stanton (Danny McBride) are sucked into a "space-time vortex."

And now they find themselves in a place where cavemen, dinosaurs and lizardlike aliens co-exist.

Your appreciation of most of this nonsense will depend on your tolerance for Ferrell and his comic "riffing." Especially since he's paired with his off-screen pal McBride ("Tropic Thunder").

They're also joined by another irritant — a dirty-minded caveman sidekick named Chaka (Jorma Taccone).

For most audiences, it'll probably be too much of the same thing, clowning that's not that funny and which does nothing to advance the plot.

To be fair, director Brad Silberling has thrown in some big loud action, and there are some decent visual effects. But there's not nearly enough.

"Land of the Lost" is rated PG-13 and features some strong violent action (creature and dinosaur attacks, brawling, natural disasters and fiery mayhem), crude sexual and scatological humor (both references and sight gags), occasional strong profanity (including one, whispered use of the so-called "R-rated" curse word), drug content and references (hallucinogens, including marijuana), a brief sex scene (implied) and other sexual contact, derogatory language and slurs, brief blood and gore, and glimpses of nude art. Running time: 100 minutes.

E-mail: jeff@desnews.com