February 2, 2017
Gold (**) R
It’s clear that actor Matthew McConaughey has a lot at stake in regards to his latest cinematic endeavor, Gold. Indeed he serves as producer on the film in addition to doing the lead acting chores. What’s less clear is what he saw in the project to begin with. He’s been seen schlepping around to virtually every talk show outlet for weeks singing the praises of the film. It leaves one to wonder if he’s doing this out of a love for the project or because he senses that it isn’t quite what he had in mind when taking on the producing chores and is trying to do damage control.
Regardless, Gold is a mediocre film with great potential that somehow never quite packs the punch that is anticipated.
McConaughey, snaggletoothed in Gold
McConaughey’s character in the film is Kenny Wells. Wells has a lust for gold in his blood. In fact it runs through his family line, his father and grandfather included, both of whom were prospectors/miners. Although the family once had a thriving business of sorts it’s long since been driven into the ground to the point where the Wells name is poison to the banks.
Cliches abound when Wells chances what little money he has on a risky gold prospect in Indonesia. He is rewarded handsomely when his gamble pays off but that’s just the beginning of his troubles. In a film like this you can see a plot development like that a mile in advance so none of it comes as a surprise.
The film is stylish enough in the capable hands of Stephen Gaghan, a previous Oscar winner for his screenplay for the 2000 film Traffic. The trouble is that style doesn’t add up to substance. Gold clearly wants to be in the same wheelhouse that such films as Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle reside but fails to have the same takeaway that those films did. Whereas those films lingered in my mind for days after seeing them, Gold evaporated in less than the time it took to see it and is a lot less focused than those aforementioned films.
While I admire the attempt of the film at making a larger statement about greed, the end result here is less than satisfactory. Still, for those who want to see McConaughey with 40 extra pounds of weight and a bald dome, perhaps this might be enough reason to investigate.
Questions or comments? Write Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.