Friday, January 24, 2014

Fool's Gold (2008) [PG-13] **

Romancing the Stone meets Into the Blue in this comedy - adventure - romance - thriller that may recall for some the real-life discovery of the Spanish treasure galleon Atocha off the coast of Florida.

In Fool's Gold, Finn (Matthew McConaughey) and his wife Tess (Kate Hudson) have spent several years searching for the Aurelia, a treasure ship that went down in a storm in 1715 carrying the dowry for the new queen of Spain. But Tess has tired of the endless search and has filed for divorce, so Finn has a new partner, Alfonz (Ewan Bremmer).

After the two accidentally sink their diving boat, Finn, Tess and Alfonz find themselves aboard the luxury yacht of millionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland) and his ditzy daughter Gemma (Alexis Dziena).

Before long Finn is telling Nigel and Gemma tales of Spanish galleons and sunken treasure, and why he thinks they've found the Aurelia. Of course Finn fails to mention that both his previous partner Moe (Ray Winstone) and a local gangster rapper named Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart) - who owns the boat Finn sank - are also after the treasure.

Hudson and McConaughey have even less chemistry than they had in their previous effort, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, so this film isn't successful as a romance. It also fails as an adventure-thriller because the comedy is so slapstick that we can't take the danger seriously. What we're left with is a grungy, wimpy, un-sexy Matthew McConaughey who gets beaten up repeatedly and ends up with a face resembling raw hamburger. Kate Hudson has a thankless role as a sidekick, Donald Sutherland is woefully underutilized, and Alexis Dziena is simply eye-candy. Although the final thirty minutes seem to be non-stop action... underwater, on the surface and in the air, they don't compensate for the slow first eighty minutes. Andy Tennant has directed some wonderful films, including Fools Rush In, Ever After: A Cinderella Story and Hitch. This latest effort just isn't one of them. 

Labels: adventure, comedy, romance, thriller
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 29/100
Tomatometer (critics=11, viewers=48)

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