The story behind Gold is quite a remarkable one but the telling of it by director Stephen Gaghan fails to sparkle. All the ingredients suggest that this could have been a classic, money based caper but the end product is merely a lacklustre wannabe Wolf of Wall Street.
Matthew McConaughey (who possibly was casted following his brief appearance in Wolf of Wall Street) plays Kenny Wells, a man who is on the brink of driving his family’s business into bankruptcy in the late 80’s. Following a literal dream he has one night, Kenny goes all out into the prospecting game, venturing to Indonesia to meet Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez), a fellow prospector who believes he knows where to get digging deep in the jungle territory.
The pair forms a business partnership and soon enough begin hiring local Indonesian villagers to start digging for the buried riches. Back home in Nevada, Kenny has a group of salesman set up in order to gain investors in the new business venture, along with his partner Kay (Bryce Dallas-Howard), who enjoys the sudden income increase when Kenny and Michael seemingly strike lucky. Consequently, a number of New York firms as well as various other parties become interested in Kenny’s project.
Unsurprisingly, McConaughey is the most notable and watchable component of the movie. He has clearly prepared himself and then some for the role with the receding hair line and incredibly rotund belly – that said, how challenging can it be to prepare for a role by piling on the pounds? The performance itself is typically engrossing, making the mundane conversations and confrontations that bit more intriguing.
Unfortunately not much can be said for the rest of the movie. Gaghan uses musical montages with pop tunes from the 80s in an attempt to create a fast paced, Wolf of Wall Street or The Big Short type movie. It’s all in vain as the film never really takes off at any stage, nor takes any risks unlike its main protagonist leaving a blunt and lacklustre end product. That’s hard to believe with a storyline such as this (though if one was to dig further, you’d find that the movie only barely matches the true story that it claims to be inspired by).
With McConaughey being the sole sparkle to gleam from the movie, Gold is one that promised a lot but doesn’t dig deep enough shine as brightly as its subject matter.