Donning a receding hairline, crooked teeth and one helluva pot belly, “Gold” is Matthew McConaughey’s show. He plays Kenny Wells, a desperate American prospector who risks it all for one last shot at the mother lode.
Kenny smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish. He has next-to-nothing left to his name, except his family’s mining company which he’s running into the ground. However one night Kenny has ‘a dream’ which leads him to the uncharted jungle of Indonesia (I know, it sounds ridiculous, but McConaughey’s Kenny is just eccentric enough to get away with crossing the globe because of a dream). There he teams up with geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) and the two of them set off to find gold in the jungle.
Now, I’m not really spoiling anything by saying they do indeed find the gold they’re looking for (there wouldn’t be a movie if they didn’t, right?) In fact, not only do they find gold, but it turns out Kenny and Mike have discovered one of the richest gold mines of the century. Cue extravagant parties, swanky Wall Street meetings, and sex in a helicopter over New York City. Kenny is lapping up his rags-to-riches American Dream. Of course, we’re all just waiting for the bubble to pop, and for those of us who aren’t familiar with the real-life story upon which the film is based (well, it’s “inspired by true events”, which really means “we’ll base our movie loosely on a real story and enjoy a whole lot of creative freedom”), the bubble pops in a delightfully unexpected way.
Kenny is definitely the headline act in “Gold” and McConaughey gives a really solid performance as the down-and-out, likeable-but-hateable, white trash prospector. Bryce Dallas Howard is also good as Kenny’s partner Kay, who grounds the story while trying, unsuccessfully, to ground her boyfriend.
All in all, “Gold” is a fun night out at the movies. Sure, we probably won’t be talking about this film in a year’s time (hell, we probably won’t be talking about it next month), but it’s easy to have fun with the story. I could sit here and pick at the nitty-gritty details that let it down, but honestly, I’d rather just let myself enjoy “Gold” for the entertaining-enough ride that it is.