Movie Reviews

Published on January 27th, 2017 | by Josh Aja



The pursuit of the big gold strike drives Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) deep into the jungles of Indonesia. Wells is a third generation Nevada prospector trying to keep the mining company from going under. He is unable to secure a loan or investment for mining projects. He is watching his reputation take a major hit, being seen as an alcoholic and laughing stock in the industry. He is down to his last dime and working out of a bar when he pawns his girlfriend Kay’s (Bryce Dallas Howard) watch and gets on a plane to Indonesia. He is headed to meet an eager geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) also in the last throws of his career in. The put together Acosta and disheveled Wells strike a deal. The unlikely duo head into the uncharted jungle in search of the mother lode. After months of failure, through Wells bout with Malaria, a crew who quit and monsoon weather the impossible happens and the two have found what looks like the largest gold deposit in history. The two men who were outcast in their fields are now the most popular miners on the planet. Everyone wants to be a part of this deal and get a piece of the gold. While Acosta stays in Indonesia to operate the day to day of the mining operation Wells heads back to Reno to secure money for digging up the gold. It’s not long that major mining companies and Wall Street investors are knocking on Wells door. Whisking him off to New York in private planes and throwing lavish parties. The now begins the real test to see if he can handle the success and not blow the largest strike of his life.

Directed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana) Gold is a wild, based on true events, story. Which means it probably has some truths, some half-truths and some almost too wild to be true but maybe true moments. McConaughey’s performance as Wells is excellent. The character at times is a slobbish, out of control alcoholic, that appears to be over his head and out of his element. But most of the time his determination to make a name for himself and his never say no attitude has you rooting for him, even when his is passed out in his underwear on the floor. The rest of the performances are good in support. The relationship with Ramirez’ character and their unlikely friendship is really well done. It took two people who seemed completely different and allowed us to see how they could come together for one goal to become good partners and friends. The story overall is good not great. It took us on a journey with Wells and mixed in really serious themes with outlandish situations. There are times that Wells antics seem forced and don’t completely disrupt the flow but definitely slow it down. It had those moments that definitely made me laugh and others that were really emotional and raw. In that way it was a blend of comedy and drama. Which for the most part mixed together really well. The film took place in the 1980’s and definitely was shot in a way that gave it a feel of the era. I enjoyed the overall the cinematography not overly spectacular but good.

The film was an enjoyable experience for me. A couple of memorable moments and a surprise, to me, at the end. There were some stretches in the story and some over the top antics but still fun.


3.5 out of 5


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