Movie Review: "Gold"

John Thomas, Movie Critic
"Gold" stars Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez.

Most people dream in black and white, some people dream in Technicolor, Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) dreams of gold. Gazing out at the bleak desert surrounding Reno, Nevada from their office window, he and his father see more than just a blue sky and sand out there; they see potential, promise, profit – mines, minerals and metals. It’s not just the financial rewards of finding a silver or gold mine that drives them, but it’s also the challenge and risk involved in doing so.

Eight years later, Kenny is on his own, struggling to keep the business going and his employees engaged. Intrigued by seeing something about a ring-of-fire in Indonesia, and with it the potential of discovering a mine, he travels west across the Pacific Ocean. There he meets with a geologist, Mike Acosta (Edgar Ramirez). The two of them form a partnership, Kenny to find funding for the exploration and drilling of the gold mine and Mike to oversee the actual work. On a paper napkin they sign an agreement to share any profits 50/50. It’s hard to decide who has the worst job – Kenny trying to hustle the needed money from reluctant investors, or Mike slogging around in the rainy, muddy jungles of Indonesia with a bunch of crotchety workers.

They eventually have success, huge success, undreamed of success. Then “the fox enters the hen house,” in the form of the greedy, shifty attorney Corey Stoll (Brian Woolf). He sees even greater potential for profit than Kenny and Mike do and does his very best to lure these somewhat naive prospectors into some sort of new partnership scheme. But the “hen house” is big, big enough for more people such as FBI agent Jennings (Toby Kebbell) and his associates.  Things go from bad to worse and then the worst happens.

Stephen Gaghan (director) takes us on this 120 minute roller-coaster ride of a movie. We whirl from the heights of man’s brightest dreams down to his worst nightmares as this “based on fact” story races along from Reno, to Indonesia and eventually to the floors of the New York Stock Exchange. Matthew McConaughey contributed his golden touch to the film; he is as intense in this story of gold fools as he was frivolous in the 2008 film “Fools Gold.” This film might be based on real events, but overall it appears to be more of a fantasy/fiction story.



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