“I care about gold”, asserts Matthew McConaughey’s gold prospector in Stephen Gaghan’s first film since 2005’s Syriana. We, however, do not, as Gold singularly fails to spark much interest. What it does is make you wonder whether the McConaissance could be coming to an end, especially when the end result is this dull.
Loosely inspired by the 1993 Bre-X mining scandal, in which a supposed gold find in Indonesia sent the stock-market into disarray, this bog-standard rise-and-fall story is yet another version of an American Dream film you’ve seen countless times before. The creative team behind it were clearly aiming for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre-meets-The Big Short, but ended up with a film which apes The Wolf Of Wall Street a bit too much for comfort. In fact, Gold’s chief redeeming factor is its leading man’s laudable commitment to his role: McConaughey’s right-side-of-hammy turn sees him snaggletoothed, pot-bellied and with an impressive receding hairline, and his manic energy just about carries the overlong proceedings. So no, the McConaissance isn’t quite over, but the ubiquitous actor needs to think long and hard before signing on the dotted line of his next project: Gold barely scrapes by on some pleasant South-East Asian landscapes and the lead performance, and while not irredeemably awful, Gaghan’s return never glitters.
Gold | Directed by Stephen Gaghan (USA 2016), with Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramírez, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Starts April 13
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