Stephen Gaghan’s “Gold” is a fun film. It’s a movie that is very close to breaking into “great” territory, but unfortunately falls flat and lands more in the land of “okay.” The film includes many moments that seem like they should make up a very good film, but its flaws are too great to bring it together.
The film follows prospector Kenny Wells in his pursuit of one great gold mine to bring his family’s company back to its former glory. In his search he meets Mike Acosta, a one-hit wonder geologist with a crazy theory to find the gold. After trekking through Indonesia the two find what they have been looking for: one of the greatest gold finds in history. The two return home to more wealth then they had ever imagined, but they also find the complications that come with it.
The two leads are great. Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells is easily the strongest point of the film. His infectious charm and desperate joy make the film a whole lot better than it would be otherwise. It’s another film that reminds us that McConaughey can really become a character. Similarly, Edgar Ramirez is fantastic as Mike Acosta. The two characters shared a ton of screen time and plenty of terrific moments. Their relationship is what kept the film trudging along at the many times it slowed so much it threatened to stop completely.
That was the main issue with the film. Every time something exciting happened, the film refused to capitalize. There would be a major tonal shift and the story would grind to a halt. It was hard to stay invested watching a three-mile-per-hour rollercoaster lose traction every 10 minutes. The great scenes with McConaughey are easy winners, but the amount of times the pacing ruins the continuous thread of the story makes it difficult to proclaim the film as anything more than an average showcase of a great actor.
With that being said, there are times when that’s all the movie needs to be. The story itself is compelling and the fact that it’s true makes it even more so. The characters have heart and the exciting moments in the film are truly exciting. There are some genuinely funny sections paired with some heartwarming relationships.
“Gold” is not a good movie, but it’s not a bad movie either. With the Academy Awards coming soon there are better films to spend time on, but there is nothing wrong with going and enjoying a fun movie like “Gold” to see some great performances and an intriguing story.