Most women would consider Matthew McConaughey a hot guy. Hubba, hubba, the whole nine yards. Typically when he stars in a new motion picture, women flock to see the show for him to walk around for ninety minutes preferably with his shirt taken off and speaking romantic to some leading lady. For those ninety minutes, those women wish that they were in his arms, they were in his touch. But what if Matthew was portraying an out of work treasure hunter, broken down on his luck and owing some guy named Bigg Bunny a whole lot of money? I think this will all depend on whether his shirt is coming off or not.
On July 24th, 1715 in celebration of the marriage of King Phillip of Spain, the largest treasure fleet in maritime history set sail from Havana, Cuba. The 500 million dollars worth of gold, silver and jewels came to be known as the Queen’s Dowry. Unfortunately, in his eagerness to consummate the marriage, King Philip ordered the fleet to sail at the worst time of the year. And so, the great galleons, heavy with their sparkling cargo, sailed straight into a massive hurricane and were never seen again.
Many years later, Benjamin “Finn” Finnegan (played by Matthew McConaughey) and his diving buddy Alfonz (played by Ewen Bremner) appearing to be searching for that lost treasure. However, their boat nor their equipment isn’t exactly cracked up to be sufficient to continue the dives. It turns out that the boat belonged to one Bigg Bunny (played by Kevin Hart), a former rapper and owner of a nearby island (translation: gangster wannabe). So now, Finn owes Bigg Bunny a lot of money and has no way to pay it back except some aspirations about the Queen’s Dowry.
Meanwhile, Tess Finnegan (played by Kate Hudson) is playing steward to to Nigel Honeycutt (played by Donald Sutherland), a rich and retired millionaire who sails around on his huge yacht. Tess has tried to forget about her treasure hunting days with Finn and is focusing on getting her divorce from him. Then just maybe she’ll be able to lead a semi-normal life. However, Finn finds his way on Nigel’s boat after recovering the hat of Gemma, Nigel’s daughter (played by Alexis Dziena). Tess realizes she can not leave those treasure hunting days behind as Nigel and Finn agree to find the Queen’s Dowry. But standing in the way is an assortment of clues and Bigg Bunny who has hired some henchmen to find the treasure for himself.
The one thing that amazes me about this movie is it tries to pass itself off as a romantic comedy version of National Treasure. It succeeds at neither. Matthew stumbles through most scenes and tries to look pretty by taking off his shirt and getting out of nasty situations. He’s about inept as can be and gets to the next clue as a matter of luck rather than considerable skill. The supporting cast is probably the best thing about Fool’s Gold. Kate Hudson provides a satisfactory performance as the fodder to Matthew’s character Finn.
Donald Sutherland and Alexis Dziena each provide wit and character to bring the movie up to respectable status. Donald is quite good as the bumbling millionaire, though you feel like if he was about 10 years younger he could have turned the film on its ear and steal the show. Alexis plays the bimbo role to a tee sporting hot looks and and minuscule intellect. Kevin Hart also has a memorable role as Bigg Bunny. My only question is why oh why is Malcolm-Jamal Warner (in the role of Cordell) trying to sound Jamaican? That aside he plays one of Bigg’s henchmen quite adequately.
Cast aside, the story was a feeble attempt at creating a good drama or a laughable comedy. For one, we never truly believe that Finn and Tess should be together in the first place. Honestly, at points during the film you almost feel that Finn has more of a shot with Gemma if he wasn’t old enough to be her father. Bigg Bunny and his gang as an unit are the biggest collection of bumbling morons and never truly echo a good villain group neither. It has its moments but for the most part it is very predictable and brings together an average movie.
The film is presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. The film does look good though you feel with all of the locales of beaches and water it should look much better. Colors are strong and everybody looks good. The one thing you can always count on is Matthew’s body will get adequate sheen time and the video quality better back it up. I spent more time personally looking at Alexis Dziena but women will appreciate seeing their Matthew. I was probably the only one who was hoping there was more shots to show off the glorious waters of Port Douglas in Australia (where the majority of the filming took place).
One would think that if one was trying to make a romantic National Treasure, that the sound would be awesome and envelope you into a movie where everything is right behind you. Go watch National Treasure then. The movie’s sound is very dull for the most part despite the 5.1 serviced in three separate languages, English, French and Spanish. Sound stays mostly in the center channel and only comes up for air in the surround channels for a little bit during a few of the action scenes. Subtitles are also provided in the same three languages.
- Automatic Trailers: Piracy(it’s evil and worth breaking up with your significant other over), The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2(I still don’t understand how pants travel except to my hamper and my washing machine and back to my closet), Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control, and Mama’s Boy.
- Fool’s Gold: Flirting with Adventure 4:33: This feature solely goes over the relationship between Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. Apparently they have a terrific chemistry, at least according to the director Andy Tennant who tells this to us over and over again. I think Kate Hudson has a thing for Matthew, but don’t most women?
- Gag Reel 2:46: A mostly blah Gag Reel. The moral of this gag reel is if Kate Hudson beats the living crap out of you with a shovel or other deadly item, it’s funny. Really funny.
Fool’s Gold is an okay movie. It’s not as bad as many people make it out to be but it sure has its share of flaws. The main source of these flaws comes from the lead actor: Matthew McConaughey. His bumbling and general ineptness is more of just a fodder to show the ladies his man chest so they can swoon and dream happy thoughts. The supporting cast thankfully brings up the acting degree and provides a decent performance. The video and audio are okay though I keep wishing for something more. Extras are basically non-existent and do almost nothing to let us understand what really went into this movie. I can’t recommend this movie unless you are a completest dvd collector for one of the main actors or actresses. Very average.