The premise of The Lost Tribe is that a group of anthropologists have found the “missing link” of human evolution, and that the Vatican has sent a group of hit men after them to cover it up. Meanwhile, a group of businessmen and their wives find themselves stranded on a seemingly deserted island, but which they soon discover is full of dangers both from the Vatican hit men and something else lurking in the shadows.
It’s a Predator rip-off. Let’s be honest. It’s not even subtle about it. You could play a drinking game matching the iconic scenes between the two and get completely smashed before the third act. There’s a difference between homage and….whatever this is. Because while Predator wasn’t the most nuanced movie of its time, it wasn’t trying to be blatantly racist. The Lost Tribe might not be trying to either, but it hits that mark pretty early on. Racist as hell and misogynistic to boot. I’m not in the mood to go into specifics, but when it comes to making racial caricatures and referring to a woman as a “thing” you get to screw…yeah.
You make me mad, movie.
The science and ideology behind The Lost Tribe is also spotty at best, but I’m not going to get into the specifics. Even if you accept the movie’s premise that a tribe of “missing link” people could still exist today, The Lost Tribe completely disregards logic when it comes to their behavior. Sure, animals sometimes kill for fun – despite the iconic quote – but not when it compromises their safety. Furthermore, it doesn’t make sense for the tribe to keep a whole bunch of bodies around that they aren’t eating. The film established their behavior earlier on as hunters, not scavengers, and in the wild, hunters avoid wasting meat.
Strange logic aside, the film looks decent. It copies Predator’s trick of shooting certain scenes from the “hunter’s” point of view, though also seems to imply that the missing link people have thermal vision without actually explaining how that’s possible. The repeated scenes of shaking leaves and whispering voices in an unknown language are the film’s crowning achievements. They’re creepy as hell and they work. Sadly, not much else does in The Lost Tribe. The characters are boring and the moments of supposed drama and/or tragedy are laughable. What should have been a touching scene towards the end with a dying character and his girlfriend had me snickering the whole time. Maybe these people can act, but they did a horrible job in The Lost Tribe.
In conclusion: go watch Predator. Pretend this never existed.