I’m a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey. He had a brilliant year in 2013 where three films put him on the map as a quality actor: Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, and The Wolf on Wall Street. He then had a subsequent great 2014 with the critically acclaimed first season of True Detective and Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi pic Interstellar. Now McConaughey has cemented himself as an A-lister, with enough credit to take his pick of juicy roles. In Gold McConaughey chooses a gold-loving prospector who is quite repulsive to look at (McConaughey shaved his head, put on fake teeth, and gained 45 pounds for the role).
Gold is the true story of a prospector named Kenny Wells (McConaughey) who is down on his luck and working his mining company from a bar his girlfriend Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) works at. One night, however Kenny has a dream that tells him he must go to Indonesia to find the famed miner Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez). In Indonesia, Kenny convinces Michael to form a partnership and together they scour the jungle to find some loot.
The film is an incredibly intriguing story, told with expertise by director Stephen Gaghan (Syriana). The narrative, though complicated if one put it on paper, seems to flow more or less clearly on the screen. But you feel that the underlying theme of greed is never explored thoroughly enough; it’s shied away from and put aside. You feel that the movie could do with the tone of greed from famed movies such as Wall Street or The Wolf on Wall Street (greed = Wall Street in Hollywood).
But thankfully the story isn’t too dense and if one pays attention to the dialogue the findings will be satisfactory enough. The ending does seem to go on a bit longer than called for, with a Lord of the Rings-type tease where the film has multiple possible endings; you wonder if the film needs to tie up every single loose end.
But with a solid cast, led by the energetic McConaughey, and an incredibly surprising and enjoyable true story, the film is entertaining enough to warrant your attention. You just feel like there was a lot of potential for philosophical exploration that the film never fully taps into.