Gold is one of those unequivocal titles that will no doubt lend itself to many a pun. All such quips that spring to this mind, as regarding most film released at this awarding time of year, relate to a certain gold statuette. Especially when there is an actor involved who has transformed themselves almost unrecognisably. Especially when done in an unflattering way.
In Gold, we have Matthew McConaughey all flabby and crooked (of tooth and possibly beyond) and sporting something akin to a balding mullet (a ‘skullet’ apparently). He plays Kenny Wells, a prospector who’s running his Grandfather’s once–respectable mining business out of the bar – where his long– time (and suffering) girlfriend (an underused Bryce Howard Dallas) is a waitress – and into the ground.
In his usual drunken state, he has a vision that inspires him to pawn his way to Indonesia for one last crack at the mother lode. With more impassioned desperation than capital resources, he persuades mythic geologist Mike Acosta (Édgar Rímarez) to pursue an abandoned theory pertaining to vast supplies of gold in unchartered basins of Indonesian jungle.
The plot trajectory up to this point, which continues to the final twisty minutes, is very much that of the extreme zig–zagging pattern seen in most get–rich–quick flicks. Kenny is far less wolf than he is a s acrificial lamb on the altar of Wall Street. While he doesn’t quite possess the cut–throat smarts of the countless, counting investment bankers scoping for a cut on what could be the biggest gold find in decades, he certainly has the bluster and the balls to at least bounce back time and again.
It’s a showy role that suits McConaughey’s style well. It might not be good enough to get him, or director Stephen Gaghan, the gold they want, but it does give an appealing shine to this slightly impure Gold.
Rated M. Gold is in cinemas now.