"Tarnished Fools Gold"
GOLD is a sleazy, depressing, drab movie about a down-and-out prospector who raises money for a gold mine in Venezuela only to find out toward the end that his partner has seeded the samples with flecks of gold.
Based on a true story, GOLD opens in Reno, Nevada in 1981 with Kenny trying to raise money for his down-and-out prospecting ventures. He is a third generation prospector. So far, he’s struck out every time he’s tried to develop a mining operation. He lives and breathes cigarettes and alcohol. He has a beautiful girlfriend named Kay, who’s a waitress at a bar.
After his father dies, Kenny loses his office space and has to work out of a bar with his employees. When it seems like everything’s against him, including the alcohol and cigarettes, he gets the idea to go to Indonesia to meet Mike, a Venezuelan prospector who six years earlier had discovered a copper mine.
Kenny and Mike go into the heart of the jungle after Kenny raises a few bucks to find gold. The monsoons, malaria and the jungle conspire against them. Eventually, they supposedly find some gold, and Kenny goes back to the States and is interviewed by Goldigger magazine. That interview gets the attention of Wall Street, and a big Wall Street firm starts pumping money into the mine.
One of the world’s biggest miners tries to buy Kenny out and when Kenny won’t sell, the miners gets the Indonesian army to close down Kenny’s mine. Kenny reaches out to president Suharto’s beloved playboy son, who’s a lush just like Kenny is, and gives him 85 percent of the mine to get the army off their backs.
Suddenly, everything crashes when they discover there’s no gold because Mike has been seeding the core samples with flecks of gold. Mike disappears and now the FBI wants Kenny.
GOLD is a sleazy, ugly, down-and-out version of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. When the FBI asks how Mike got away with everything, when it was clear the samples didn’t contain gold, Kenny explains that greed motivated everyone. Although there’s some interesting moments in the movie, most of it is drab and dreary. For much of the movie, there’s no jeopardy. Matthew McConaughey can’t act his way out of this poorly written character. Rather than character developments, there are ugly scenes of Matthew overweight, perspiring and cursing furiously while he chain-smokes and drinks. His character never seems to develop. His girlfriend is the only appealing character, but the question is, why does she hang out with this loser because she knows he’s a loser. The amount of cursing is annoying. At one point, the Venezuelan prospector says Columbus in his journals mentions God 26 times and gold over 100 times, indicating gold was more important than God and mocking Columbus. Otherwise, the movie is the story of a self-made failure. There’s a trick ending, which comes out of nowhere, that implies that crime pays, but one of the two reviewers kept falling asleep, so who wants to sit through this mess to get to the trick? This depressing movie is a waste of time and talent.
(HHH, AcapAcapAcap, Ab, LLL, VV, SS, N, AA, D, MMM) Very strong, drab humanist worldview with very strong anti-capitalist elements about a loser prospector, whose character never grows, with one semi-mocking reference to God; about 112 obscenities (mostly “f” words), 27 profanities and two obscene gestures; brief strong and some light violence includes several breakdowns where man pounds furniture and/or throws cups, one man slugs protagonist and draws blood, several mild frights between friends, Indonesian soldiers shoot up camp, dead body found in jungle with head in hands eaten by wild pigs who scuffle away; several fornication scenes with a minimum of sexual activity shown (one shown in the reflection of a window), and a young woman who manages Wall Street clients comes on to client prospector and is shown in hot tub making advances toward him; upper male nudity, rear male nudity, several disgusting man wearing underwear shots, some female cleavage; lots of alcohol consumption with one statement that any other person would be dead by consuming this much alcohol; lots of chain smoking; and, ugly case of malaria in jungle with hero in underwear, billion dollar fraud, greed but condemned, sleazy prospector takes advantage of Indonesians including Suharto’s son, Suharto’s son forces prospector to get in cage with a tiger and touch the tiger, outbursts of vile anger, extreme pride.
GOLD stars Matthew McConaughey as a third generation prospector, Kenny Wells. It opens in Reno, Nevada in 1981 with Kenny trying to raise money for his down-and-out prospecting ventures. Kenny lives and breathes cigarettes and alcohol. He has a beautiful girlfriend named Kay, who’s a waitress at a bar. Kenny goes to Indonesia to find Mike, a Venezuelan prospector. Despite setbacks, including malaria, they find a supposed gold mine, but what Kenny doesn’t know is that Mike is seeding the mine with flecks of gold.
Based on a true story, GOLD is a sleazy, ugly, down-and-out version of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. When the FBI asks how Mike got away with everything, Kenny explains that greed motivated everyone. Although there’s some interesting moments, most of the movie is drab and dreary. For much of the movie, there’s no jeopardy. Matthew McConaughey can’t act his way out of this poorly written character. Rather than character developments, GOLD contains ugly scenes of Matthew overweight, perspiring and cursing furiously while he chain-smokes and drinks. This depressing movie is a waste of time and talent.