Theatrical Review: Matt Damon
does a mean Matthew McConaughey
impersonation. The two hung out when they were struggling actors trying to break into the business, giving the former ample opportunity to study the latter's casual mannerisms. According to Damon's spot-on imitation, the chiseled McConaughey spends most of his time looking for an excuse to take off his shirt. Barbecue in the backyard? No shirt required. Church services on a Sunday morning? Leave the shirt at home.
This helps explain McConaughey's presence in Fool's Gold. The adventure-comedy is as pretty as it is dumb, but seeing as how it's set in the Caribbean, it does allow McConaughey ample opportunity to flex his pecs and sun his shoulders. Too bad for us it offers little else. Article continues below
Only fools will part with gold, silver, or even copper pennies for a ticket to this disaster, which casts McConaughey as Finn, a one-track-minded treasure seeker whose marriage to Tess (Kate Hudson
) ended up on the rocks because he couldn't stop diving for doubloons. Before they divorced, the two came close to finding a fortune in Spanish treasure that reportedly sunk off the coast of the Florida Keys. Now, with help from an eccentric billionaire (Donald Sutherland
) and his dim-wit daughter (Alexis Dziena), they're giving the hunt -- and their relationship -- one last shot.
Director Andy Tennant
is a competent filmmaker (Hitch, Ever After) who has made a bad film. Gold has no sense of adventure, and no thrills worth seeking. Scenes drag on too long and lead nowhere. Tennant applies a leaden touch to what needed to be a light caper. Stock characters are broadly drawn, from the murderous rap star (Kevin Hart) to whom Finn owes money to the rival treasure seeker (Ray Winstone) racing the couple to the gold. Sutherland plays his character as if he is hiding some big secret (he isn't). Dziena acts with her body. Hudson and McConaughey coast on what little chemistry they have, something which has long since been proven in other movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
Like a good treasure map, the Gold screenplay scatters clues that suggest the film's trove of idiocy. Early in the picture, Tess's attorney chastises her for entering into a marriage with slacker, scuba-diving treasure hunter Finn. "You married a guy for the sex, then expected him to be smart," the lawyer lectures. Level the same accusation at any audience member who buys a ticket to this charade because of the sexy poster, then expects the story and dialogue to be intelligent.
The script, credited to Tennant, John Claflin, and Daniel Zelman, pays no attention to logic and frequently disrupts continuity. Here's my favorite gaffe: Tess lectures rail-thin Gemma (Dziena) not to play dumb to get people to pay attention to her. In the very next scene, Tess begs Gemma to prance on the deck of her father's yacht in a non-existent bikini so men on a neighboring boat will be distracted. Welcome to the land of fools, where mistakes like that are worth their weight in gold.