Fool’s Gold is a microcosm of star Matthew McConaughey’s career. His “Sexiest Man Alive” good looks make him a natural for romantic comedy, while his Greek God physique lends itself to action adventure roles. He done both before so Fool’s Gold should be a welcome hybrid of his particular skills. Unfortunately the combo of having to look good while romancing Kate Hudson and doing dangerous looking stunts is too much of a good McConaughey thing.
He stars as Ben Finnegan, professional beach bum and treasure hunter fixated on finding 40 chests of sunken treasure lost in 1714 off the coast of Florida. In the search for the booty he loses his wife Tess (Kate Hudson), their boat, and, by the time they actually start to search for the treasure, our attention.
The movie needs a treasure map of its own to find its way through the silly plot involving billionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland), his celebutante daughter, Gemma (Alexis Dziena), a backer in the form of a violent rap star (Kevin Hart) and a rival treasure seeker with a preposterous Southern accent named Moe (Ray Winstone). Even these good actors can’t make this wannabe screwball comedy work.
Predictable in the extreme, with ham fisted direction, clumsily staged action sequences and a characterization of an African American rapper that crosses the line from stereotyping into something bordering on racism, Fool’s Gold takes a premise that could’ve worked—good looking people in bathing suits searching for gold in against a backdrop of sun and fun—and bungles it completely. Not even legendary treasure hunter Indiana Jones could find a good movie buried under this mess.
With its fabulous scenery—set in Florida it was actually shot in Australia—and a beautiful yacht where a good chunk of the action happens, Fool’s Gold looks like one of those movies that was actually much more fun for the cast to shoot than it is for the audience to watch.
Trust me, there’s no treasure to be found anywhere in this movie.