Movie Details
Recommendation

Fool's Gold (2008)

 
 
 

All that Glitters is Definitely not Gold

Come on, I'm getting old. Let's find some gold! - Moe Fitch

Matthew McConaughey as Finn in Fool's Gold

If you look for "Fool's Gold" on imdb there are a lot of listings for movies and shorts going back to the early 20th century but as far as I can tell "Fool's Gold" which sees Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson reunited 5 years on from "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" is not a remake. But to be honest it quite easily could be because this is a treasure hunt movie very much in the same ilk as "Romancing the Stone", in fact it feels like someone wanted to make a "Romancing the Stone" style movie and thought that Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson were ideal as the warring couple who brush with danger in search of buried treasure. And maybe they could have been if "Fool's Gold" had featured a better script, because what we get is not only generic but out of kilter as it spends far too long setting things up and then so little time delivering the excitement and danger of the treasure hunt.

Having fallen into debt to a notorious rapper known as Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart), deep-sea treasure hunter Finn (Matthew McConaughey - Failure to Launch) is sure he's finally onto something when he comes across a fragment of an old plate. But being flat bloke and not in Bigg Bunny's good books makes life hard for Finn especially as he's just got divorced from Tess (Kate Hudson - You, Me and Dupree), his one time research and diving assistant. But it just so happens she is nearby working as a steward aboard the luxury yacht owner my millionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland - Fierce People). Having caught up with Tess and convinced her that he has finally found what they spent years searching for they now have to talk Nigel into bank rolling their treasure hunt whilst avoiding Bigg Bunny and his heavies who are also after the sunken treasure.

Kate Hudson as Tess in Fool's Gold

So as already mentioned "Fool's Gold" definitely feels like someone has tried to make a "Romancing Stone" for a new age of movie fans and maybe for that younger audience it may work. But for those who grew up on the comedy and chemistry of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in "Romancing Stone" and "Jewel of the Nile" "Fool's Gold" feels an inferior imitation.

Part of the reason it feels inferior is that it is out of balance with almost two thirds of the movie all about the set up. We get introduced to both Finn and Tess over a series of scenes as we learn they are getting divorced, Finn is in debt to a rapper, Tess is working as a steward for a millionaire and of course the sunken treasure which before they split they had been searching for. It goes on and on and on, going back and forth never really going anywhere other than really establishing that whilst still in love Tess has grown tired of Finn's laid back ways.

In all honesty it gets to a point that it becomes boring and you start to mentally switch off which just so happens to be the bit where they explain to Tess's boss Nigel Honeycutt how this Spanish treasure happens to be somewhere off of an island owned by a notorious rapper. And even this explanation goes back and forth for too long as it becomes more and more convoluted, supposedly funny but in reality quite dull. And to add to the dullness is the sub story about Nigel and his daughter Gemma not really getting on.

It's all seriously out of kilter because it spends so long setting all of this up that when it comes to the actual treasure hunt it is dealt with in around 30 minutes which is seriously not enough time. It almost feels like an after thought which is so wrong especially as the various moments of action as they both risk death are quite entertaining. Yes the action is over the top with one scene which sees Finn blasted out of the water by an explosion landing on a boat being laughable but at least it's more exciting than all the build up. And to be honest the actual action does climax in a surprisingly decent way as Tess finds herself in serious danger.

Now whilst it feels like "Fool's Gold" was an attempt to bring back the action & adventure genre it also is obviously an attempt to capitalize on the fun chemistry which its stars Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson exhibited 5 years earlier in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days". And there are moments of that chemistry and fun which made that movie come to life but they are fleeting as they are so often let down by the script. They are not alone as Donald Sutherland is as equally let down as Nigel Honeycutt and unfortunately Alexis Dziena as his daughter Gemma ends up being quite grating. And so it goes on because amongst the cast there is Ewen Bremner, Ray Winstone as well as Malcolm-Jamal Warner who are all as just poorly served by the script.

What this all boils down to is that sadly "Fool's Gold" just didn't work for me and ended up a pale imitation of the superior "Romancing the Stone". Maybe "Fool's Gold" does work for a younger audience who will enjoy its beautiful stars, unsubtle comedy and the action but for those who watched the sparks fly between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner almost 25 years earlier it just feels weak and out of balance.

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