Gold

If you’re going to cast Matthew McConaughey and pay his hefty salary, why then take away everything about Matthew McConaughey that is good and right in the world?

In Gold, McConaughey plays Kenny Wells, a prospector who is pot-bellied, bald, and has a giant snaggle tooth that I CONSTANTLY mistook for a wayward piece of chewing gum for the entire length of the movie. He has a gray pallor, he sweats, he is often scene in soggy, saggy tightie whities: it’s unforgivable. There’s no reason that a prospector named Kenny Wells couldn’t have gold2been played by the handsome version of McConaughey, and it might have half-explained why a beauty like Bryce Dallas Howard would go out with such a loser, which is otherwise downright mind-boggling.  Gold is very, very loosely based on things that might have sort of happened, but Kenny Wells was never a real person. McConaughey’s weight gain, however, is all too real: a testament to cheeseburgers and milk shakes, apparently. He also legitimately shaved his head. But if director Stephen Gaghan really REALLY needed a bloated, past-his-prime dude for the lead role, I’m confident that he could have got one much cheaper, and at less cost to McConaughey’s health. In fact, I propose this guy.

Superficial complaints aside, the movie just plain sucked. Feel free to stop reading now. The rest will just be me riffing on this theme. McConaughey gives a pretty committed performance, whistling around that big ugly tooth, but he should have known better. I can only assume that Matty’s got some weird fixation with gold; this is, in fact, his third movie about the pursuit of gold, after Sahara and Fool’s Gold (and to be fair, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 42%, Gold is his best one yet – but please god, stop trying!).

My main complaint, and maybe the only one that really matters, is that this movie is plain old boring. Billed as a “crime adventure,” the real crime is not stolen gold but stolen time and money from the audience, and possibly also the extra plaque in McConaughey’s arteries.

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22 thoughts on “Gold

  1. William

    Your reviews are funny as something really funny but you know that already? Can you please watch True Detective (season one) if you haven’t yet and write a review about it? I know it not a movie but I just wanna read want you have to say about that now!

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    1. Jay Post author

      I did watch Season 1 actually (never got around to season 2). I’d have to rewatch to write a review – my memory once fell out my ear and got run over by a Mac truck and it’s never fully recovered.

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  2. Brittani

    Your review is probably more interesting than the film itself. The trailers did nothing for me. And now that you mentioned the tooth I’d probably be unable to look away as well.

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    1. Jay Post author

      He kind of had it before the Oscar too. Maybe the Oscar was a bit of a fluke? I mean, the thing is, he totally commits to this role. It’s almost sad to see him trying so hard when everything around is just so gosh darned mediocre.

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  3. Christopher

    I’m glad for the warning. Even though I’m in the camp that thinks method acting can and does sometimes go too far I appreciate it when actors transform themselves in ways that give credibility and weight (no pun intended) to their performance.
    And that’s why I might have checked this out–but since that stretching only pays off if the ultimate result is a good movie I’ll skip it.

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    1. Jay Post author

      The character really doesn’t require it whatsover.
      I wrote a post recently about how the cult of machoism is pushing actors into this method business when they actually just need to get better at PRETENDING, which is what acting is, not some extreme weight loss challenge.

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  4. J.

    Excellent stuff – really enjoyed the review. Disappointed this is one to avoid, though… I had hoped for good things. Especially cause the Iggy Mouse song is so great and I saw a poster that says “McConaughey is mesmerising”.

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