Saturday 22 June 2024

Movie Review: Fool's Gold (2008)

Genre: Action Adventure Comedy  
Director: Andy Tennant  
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, Kevin Hart  
Running Time: 113 minutes  

Synopsis: Off the Florida coast, treasure hunter Finn (Matthew McConaughey) is searching for the legendary Queen's Dowry, an immense Spanish treasure lost in a 1715 storm. After finding an important clue, Finn is betrayed by his benefactor Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart). Meanwhile, Finn's fed-up wife Tess (Kate Hudson) finalizes their divorce, although they still have feelings for each other. In a final attempt to find the treasure, Finn convinces Tess' employer and wealthy businessman Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland) to fund the search.

What Works Well: This is a brains-off adventure, leaning into cartoonish characterizations, out-of-nowhere and over-the-top plot developments, ho-hum action set-pieces, and star charisma. Glistening settings, attractive skin-baring stars, and just-in-time heroics provide the necessary distractions on the way to all the obvious conclusions. The investment in the story of the treasure's origins is appreciated, although showing rather than telling would have been an enhancement.

What Does Not Work As Well: The plot strictly adheres to well-worn paths and embraces every superficial cliche. Finn as the lovable and passionate rogue who is always half a step away from disaster is an overly-familiar central character, and director/co-writer Andy Tennant is determined to bring stupidity to the fore: Honeycutt's daughter Gemma (Alexis Dziena) is specifically brought on board to compete with Bigg Bunny's henchmen for the biggest dummy prize.

Conclusion: Stays afloat, but barely.

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