Directed by Stephen Gaghan, Oscar winning writer of Traffic and writer-director of Syriana, Gold tells the rise and fall of Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey), the head of a failing prospector company. We follow Kenny Wells from humble beginnings. A man desperate and ambitious, he risks his life in the jungles of Indonesia to find his fortune in gold. In a world of money, alcohol, cigarettes and white-collar Wall Street paupers, Gold is a movie that attempts to touch on the psychology of wealth, masculinity and desire.
Sound familiar? That’s because this is essentially a thematical carbon copy of Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. Basically, watch Wolf of Wall Street again and have a much better time.
Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street was more than just a concept. It delved into the minds of rich, successful, yet corrupt men with a lack of moral compass. It was raunchy, sexy and vulgar, an analysis of character, not to be replicated again because it answered the questions it asked. So, why was the unfortunately similar Gold even made? What does it add to our modern understanding of society or the men caught up in these worlds? Questions no one will be asking for decades to come.
Suffice it to say, Gold’s script – penned by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider scribes John Zinman and Patrick Massett – is lazy, offering little insight to the world of prospecting and unnecessarily complicating the Wall Street scene. It brushes close to sex, drugs and violence, subjects that may have made the movie intriguing, but neuters itself for some inexplicable reason.
McConaughey, constantly filmed in underwear to show off his huge belly, gives it his best. Édgar Ramírez, on the other hand, playing a tough and street-smart geologist who revels being up to the neck with mud in Indonesia, gives a rather wooden performance that really sticks out in some scenes.
Perhaps the one standout aspect of Gold was its use of settings. The contrast between the grey buildings of Wall Street and the lush, green and muddy forests of Indonesia is a refresher for when the movie slides into dull-mode, which occurs very frequently.
Most of what Gold has to offer has been delivered before, only much better. What we have here is a two-hour bore.
THE REEL SCORE: 3/10