Matthew McConaughey gives a committed performance in director Stephen Gagan’s Gold, however despite some serious superficial sparkle, the film just isn’t the real thing, It’s a shame because Gold gets so many things right, but it just doesn’t come together.
Gold sees McConaughey star as Kenny Wells, a down on his luck Gold prospector who dreams of striking it rich (literally). He teams with geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) and to their surprise they land a major Goldmine in Indonesia. Soon Wall Street is tripping over itself to partner with the duo, but that’s when their problems really begin.
McConaughey hits the mark, piling on the pounds and wearing (a not too convincing) bald-cap, which manages to make him look like the cousin of Tom Cruise’s Tropic Thunder character, Len Grossman. The supporting cast led by Edgar Ramirez and Bryce Dallas Howard impresses, the score is great, the soundtrack’s pumping and the plot is intriguing (based on a true story to boot). Gagan never lets the story slow down and unlike the main characters, the film never bores (drill joke). But because of all this energy, the film never relaxes and we don’t get to truly empathise with McConaughey’s Wells. This makes it feel superficial and never fully involving.
All the elements are present but the alchemy isn’t there to make it a great film. That’s not to say that Gold isn’t a solid piece of entertainment. Matthew McConaughey continues a streak of impressive roles, showing us that he’s a great actor first and a movie star second. However, Gold ultimately disappoints because expectations are just so damn high and as McConaughey himself might just say, it’s just ‘alright, alright, alright’.
Like the film, the special features on the Gold blu-ray seem great on paper but ultimately disappoint. You get deleted scenes and the short docs: The Origins of Gold, The Locations of Gold and Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells – none of which last more than 5 minutes.