Lowdown: Matthew McConaughey’s take on the Da Vinci Code.
Do you feel the way I do, from time to time?
You step between the corridors of your friendly neighborhood video rental store looking for films to rent. You have already picked two films and you’re looking for a third to balance the overly serious choice thus far. You browse and browse, and then this notion grows on you: if it’s dumb light entertainment that you’re after, nothing beats a good old Matthew McConaughey flick. Even if it’s actually a new one.
Thus we ended up with Fool’s Gold, a film I would normally dare not watch, gracing my sacred DVD player. And lo and behold, as foolish as Fool’s Gold is, I will be lying if I was to say we didn’t enjoy the experience (disclaimer: to one extent or another, given that everything is relative). Fool’s Gold has served its due purpose of lightly contaminating our brains with foolishness over close to two hours.
If there is a theme to attach to Fool’s Gold it is the inherent foolishness that graces the film from start to finish. We start with a McConaughey that loses his boat through sheer foolishness while diving on a treasure hunt; only that it’s not really his, it belongs to some dubious characters who gave him money so he gets them a treasure. McConaughey does manage to get a clue to this mysterious Spanish armada treasure, and so he embarks on a quest for resources to help him get the treasure. Only that he’s a chronic liar, and the people that helped him out thus far now wish him dead. The people that used to care for him, notably his wife Kate Hudson, wish to divorce him; she married him only for the sex anyway.
Yet one thing leads to another and McConaughey ends up recruiting everyone on the treasure hunt, some as helpers (notably a millionaire and his dumb but good looking daughter) and some as competitors (notably a gangster rapper who is heavy on the gangster part). No holds are barred as everyone tries to acquire the clues that lead to the treasure’s location, leading us to a foolish version of the Da Vinci Code: one that is more comical and features much more exposed skin. Skin is a key motif in Fool’s Gold (although nudity par excellence is rare): the film uses its sunken treasure element to the full by offering us a tropical setup with more inviting sea water than The Blue Lagoon. Apparently, shooting was based in Queensland; it must have been tough, though, given the large number of underwater scenes.
One thing that is missing from Fool’s Gold is acting. McConaughey himself is not that bad, but Kate Hudson gives the impression she was there due to an accident or something. Donald Sutherland, on a minor role, gives the impression he was there to have some foolish fun while getting paid for it.
One thing is clear: Fool’s Gold is not a film to be taken seriously. But is some masochistic way it is fun.
McConaughey is left in the middle of the sea by some villains with nothing but an esky to rest on. Almost dying, he’s saved by a bunch of kids driving a speed boat. The kids are so drunk that the two girls accompanying the two guys on the boat show McConaughey their boobs in a celebration of all that is cerebral.
Now, you must be asking what is so good about a scene featuring two chicks and their bare breasts. Well, if you have to ask, my answer is: remember the context. This is a Matthew McConaughey film we’re talking about here!
Technical assessment: Being spoiled by Blu-rays this DVD definitely looks inferior, but for a DVD it’s not bad at all. It’s not state of the art or anything, but it is a well produced DVD betrayed by the total lack of extras (I guess Fool’s Gold always had “rental” written all over it).
Overall: I guess Fool’s Gold imposes a mandatory requirement for foolishness if you are to watch it, but at least you will probably do so with a good and relaxed feeling. 2.5 out of 5 stars.