Fool's Gold sees the re-teaming of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson after the dreadful (imo) 'How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days', although their chemistry was undeniable in that movie, so surely it'll carry over into this movie, right? We pick up in Fool's Gold with Finn (Matthew McConaughey), a local treasure hunter who's on the cusp of finding the lost treasure of a Spanish galleon known as the 'Aurelia'. Meanwhile his obsession with finding this treasure has cost him his marraige to Tess (Kate Hudson) who was once sold on the idea, but has since soured on it and his immaturity.
While Finn has bet everything they have on finding this treasure, which includes going into debt with local gangster Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart), which could cost Finn his life. Tess is ready to move on with her life when she is tempted back into the search by a tantalizing new piece of evidence that Finn uncovered. After Finn and Tess convince her wealthy new boss, Nigel HoneyCutt (Donald Sutherland) and his dim-witted daughter Gemma (Alexis Dziena) to embark on a treasure hunt, with Nigel seeing it as an opportunity to re-connect with his resentful daughter. The search for buried treasure is on.
The glue holding Fool's Gold together is absolutely Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, they work exceptionally well together. The scenery is stunningly beautiful, which should be a given, really. The mystery of the Aurelia was interesting enough, though it wasn't tremendously deep, no pun intended, but the fun and excitement of unraveling it was enough to keep me fascinated. We do begin the movie at the latter end of Tess and Finn's journey, so that might have cut some of the potential exhilaration of the discovery of treasure hunting out. But I still thought that there were enough surprises to keep me involved, and I liked the resolution of the riddle of the treasure as well.
The characterizations were all extremely one-dimensional, even by romantic comedy standards. There was the wise and insightful gay couple that's become a staple in romantic movies ever since the mid 90s, be it a single gay man or a couple, every romantic movie needs one or two, or at the very least one sexually ambiguous guy. Pretty much everyone can be summed up in one word, even the two main leads. Finn's sidekick = pervert. Gemma = dumb. Nigel = pushover. Tess = frustrated. Finn = obsessed. Bigg = thug. There's no depth to any of them, but there are some genuinely funny and entertaining moments throughout, and the comedic beats mostly landed with some good situational humor as well.
I think the biggest problem with Fool's Gold is how derivative it is to so many other romantic/adventure movies. Matthew McConaughey is basically reprising his role from Sahara as the treasure hunter with a brewing romance thrown into the mix. In a more direct parallel though is 'Into the Blue' where Paul Walker and Jessica Alba played the bronzed treasure hunters. Fool's Gold is a perfect example of a 'vehicle' movie. I've heard people ask 'what's a vehicle movie?', this is. A movie that's tailor-made for its stars. Something that'll allow Matthew McConaughey to fully channel his laid back 'alright, alright, alright' persona shirtless, while allowing Kate Hudson to bask in the Bahamas (Australian) sun in her string bikini. It was probably a good way for them to get a paid vacation as well.
Even still I was surprised to see that this has scored so low. I agree that it wasn't an amazing movie, but it was a fun waste of a couple of hours, even if it was cliched and predictable for the most part. In all honesty I'd probably watch it again, though I wonder if that would be to compare McConaughey to where he was, to where he went in only a matter of years. Despite all it's flaws, I still finished the movie feeling happy, so that's gotta count for something.
Written by - The Sentry - 05/09/2016