Money, greed and excess have always made for good cinema. Gordon Gekko taught us that “Greed is Good” in Wall Street and films like The Wolf of Wall Street and War Dogs have followed in his footsteps ever since. Up next on the American Dream turned American Greed story is Gold starring Matthew McConaughey. The movie focuses on the journey of a man who was down to his last dime looking for a gold rush in the jungles of Indonesia.
McConaughey plays Kenny Wells, a gold prospector that has run his family’s once successful company into the ground. Looking for a miracle, Kenny teams with Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramírez) to find gold in an unlikely place in hopes of redeeming both of their reputations. The duo battle the elements, doubt and other companies looking to exploit the riches they may find.
Gold is a film that lives in very familiar territory that has been executed better in other films. We have McConaughey playing a slobbish businessman who goes from nothing to something. Along the way we get to see our loser at the center of this story become flush with cash and consumed by greed. This theme is nothing we haven’t seen before in plenty of other films. McConaughey’s Kenny is nothing original, but the Oscar winner brings his sly charm to the role and makes him a fun figure to follow. Edgar Ramírez also shares some nice chemistry with McConaughey and the two make for an interesting pair playing polar opposites on the same quest for glory.
Gold is not the Oscar caliber film the studio hoped it would be, but by no means is it a bad film. The first half is quite interesting with Kenny and Acosta searching for gold and the process it takes to find it. Once the pair finds what they’re looking for is when the movie becomes your basic generic greed fueled film. McConaughey keeps Gold interesting especially with an ending that will have you questioning everything you just watched, but it’s not enough to save this movie that lacks critical depth. There was potential for greatness here, but the film just misses the mark in a few key areas.
Overall, I give Gold 2.5 out of 4 stars.
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