Actor Matthew McConaughey gained 40 pounds for his role as a crazy dreamer in the new movie, GOLD.
But in spite of what the actor was willing sacrifice for his art, his energetic performance isn’t enough to save the movie.
McConaughey’s character is obsessed with raising money to look for gold in an Indonesian jungle.
His performance is often dazzling, but sometimes it’s so over the top I could barely watch him.
The movie itself is a well intentioned fable about the perils of getting rich quick and then fighting against the corrupt people who want to take it all away.
But everything about GOLD is messy and exaggerated as it careens from lows to highs to lows and back again, over and over.
Kenny (voice over): It was ’88. I lost my house. I lost everything. Most people would have been dead, but not me. I had a dream. It was like I was being called. It was the gold calling. Gold.
Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells is obsessed with gold. He pawns everything he has left and heads to Indonesia to meet a geologist famous for finding valuable minerals under the ground.
Kenny and Edgar Ramirez as Michael Acosta become handshake partners, struggle mightily for a time, and then achieve success.
Both men screaming: We got a gold mine!
Kenny (voice over): For better or worse the ride had begun.
Wall Street guy: We believe you’re sitting on the largest gold fine of the decade. We’re talking over 30 billion dollars.
Kenny is a chain smoking alcoholic and success doesn’t change that.
Kenny: There’s no way I can possibly describe the feeling. But it’s amazing how a little gold can change everything.
His loyal long time girlfriend sees the lies behind the Wall Street offers Kenny gets long before he does.
Kate: These people are using you.
Wall Street Guy: We can help you get off the side of that mountain.
Kenny: I can land this plane.
Wall Street Guy: Just be open to strategic alliances.
Kenny: Shut up, Brian! I will bury you with these hands.
Almost every emotion and plot point of GOLD is telegraphed. There’s nothing subtle about it.
Song: Do you walk in the shadow of men who sold their lives to a dream?
The director of this overcooked movie never seems to realize that too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org