Matthew McConaughey has great abs. That’s the only good thing about Andy Tennant’s action-adventure romantic comedy, “Fool’s Gold,” which never really works as an action-adventure or a romantic comedy.
McConaughey and Kate Hudson have paired up once again since 2003’s “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.” This time they are divorced couple Benjamin and Tess Finnegan, who reunite in their search for lost treasure. In order to get the gold before the bad guys — a crew of island idiots led by a rapper named Bigg Bunny — they enlist the help of millionaire Englishman Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland), who owns the yacht Tess stewards on. Rich old men are never without their bimbo teenage daughters, and Gemma (Alexis Dziena) fits the bill perfectly. With Honeycutt’s boat and equipment, Tess and Benjamin begin a rat race for the millions of dollars in treasure lying beneath the sea. I don’t need to tell you who finds it first and what the status of Tess and Benjamin’s relationship is at the film’s conclusion — no suspenseful surprises here.
It’s very evident McConaughey puts more work into his six-pack than his roles. He lazily saunters around as if already aware that no one really cares about the words coming out of his mouth. It’s no mistake that Tess repeatedly alludes to his sexual prowess as being his most redeeming quality.
The heated chemistry between McConaughey and Hudson that was evident in “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” is far more tepid in “Gold.” Hudson looks very uncomfortable in yet another “pretty girl who is out to prove she’s smart” kind of role. She can’t be that smart, considering she keeps taking these cotton-candy roles that don’t even begin to showcase her acting talent — I don’t think we’ve seen her in anything remotely redeemable since “Almost Famous.”
Though Gemma’s character is too contrived and basically an over-the-top caricature of one of the “Clueless” girls, Dziena almost steals the show. She’s silly and way too perky, but at least she freshens up the staleness around her. Sutherland’s garish accent is so artificial it’s as if he’s hiding his real voice from our ears out of embarrassment. It’s no secret this cast is after treasure, namely a paycheck.
The adventure story line is all too predictable, but that is to be expected. The missing treasure is part of a queen’s dowry that sunk off the coast of Florida in 1715. While we do get a little history lesson, “National Treasure” style, Tess repeats the same dull story 10 times in case you’re as stupid as Gemma and didn’t quite grasp it at first. A history book is much more entertaining, and you won’t even have to deal with the listless romance and unfunny cliches, but you will miss out on those abs.
This type of film always promises the kind of mindless entertainment that seems enjoyable in the awkward months post-Oscar season. However, with “Gold,” you get much less than you bargain for. It’s hardly entertaining, unless you’re just easily amused. I guess Benjamin’s belief that “consumption” means dying while having sex is slightly amusing. Most of the jokes (like that one) are better fit for sixth-graders, and the graphic violence feels a little misplaced for its lighthearted tone. I was either yawning or scratching my head in dismay.
The beautiful people and beaches in “Fool’s Gold” offer romance and adventure, but that’s only a façade. All we get is moronic comedy, an uninspired treasure hunt and one Kate Hudson who looks very uncomfortable in her bikini scene. Not to be cliche like the film itself, but you’d be a “Fool” to see this.