Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"Fool's Gold" -- *

Dumb, lazy and seemingly-endless, Andy Tennant's "Fool's Gold" is, above all, a showcase for Matthew McConaughey's mightily impressive tits. Protruding into virtually every shot, the actor's carefully sculpted pectorals steal every scene they're in and show more energy and life than any of their co-stars. Only being covered by a shirt in two brief scenes, this is the best performance of their career and will likely draw acclaim from critics and audiences alike. If you're a fan of theirs, this is the movie to see this weekend; however, if you want laughs, excitement, romance or entertainment, you'd have better luck virtually anywhere else at the multiplex.

Starring McConaughey as lovable treasure hunter Finn, "Gold" starts off with a self-important title crawl giving us the backstory of "The Queen's Dowry," the treasure that will be sought for most of the movie. Just as his wife Tess (Kate Hudson) is divorcing him, Finn finds a clue that seems to lead directly to the treasure. Tess is now working on a yacht owned by Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland) and his daughter (Alexis Dziena), who agree to help finance this final treasure-hunting expedition of Tess and Finn. They bicker constantly. Through it all, they're chased by rapper Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart) and a rival treasure hunter (Ray Winstone). The latter subplot is so poorly edited, it's not entirely clear when he's Finn's nemesis and when he's his ally.

It's hard to ignore that everyone here looks exceedingly bored, as if they can't wait till shooting's done. Hudson and McConaughey have never exuded less charm, and in a film touted as their follow-up to "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," they really have zero chemistry together. Hey, maybe she was distracted by her divorce with Chris Robinson (going on during filming) and he was too busy deflecting gay-with-Jake-Gyllenhaal rumors to work up any enthusiasm, but I don't want to speculate. But as uninspired as the two leads are, Dziena is the absolute worst, shrilly overplaying her irritating dim-bulb character. Meanwhile, Sutherland (doing a phonily refined British accent) and Winstone (who mostly just looks like he'd rather be killing Grendel), the two actors cast to class up this low-brow production, completely phone it in.

But what ultimately kills the movie (besides the horrible script) is it's sluggish, borderline-excruciating pacing, padding things out to 113 minutes. It hit me around the 70-minute mark that nothing had happened yet in the movie, the story hadn't really got going yet, and scenes like a seven-minute-long sequence of Hudson and McConaughey telling the story behind the treasure don't help matters. For almost the entire running time, characters are just repetitively talking about the same shit over and over again, with the occasional lame sexual prowess or "ha-ha, she's dumb!" joke thrown into the mix. When the action (the stuff comprising 90% of all television ads) finally kicks in during the last 25 minutes, it's still incredibly fucking stupid, but at least there's a pulse.

Though largely being marketed as a comedy, "Fool's Gold" contains little-to-no attempted laughs as much as the awkward editing tries to force them in. There are scenes with no comedy to speak of that are played as such due to the zany music used to score them. As the movie goes on, Tennant seems to have realized that most audiences probably came for the broad laughs, so we get more and more sequences with McConaughey getting whacked in the head by various objects. In keeping with the wit on display there, during a particularly bloated chase scene, our villain gets triumphantly hit in the balls. Woot.

Without current Best Picture nominee "Michael Clayton" bringing them some integrity, Warner Brothers would currently be rivaling Twentieth Century Fox for the movie studio with least respect for their audience. Hammering home a streak that includes "The Bucket List," "P.S.: I Love You," "I Am Legend," "One Missed Call" and "Fred Claus," "Fool's Gold" only re-iterates that this a studio whose highest priority is bilking insuffiently-intelligent moviegoers out of their hard-earned cash, and little interest in delivering a quality product.

Most likely pitched as "'Failure to Launch' with violence," the romance-adventure will likely pack in the crowds this weekend and I guess it makes sense why. Couples will probably eagerly pay to see a re-pairing of formerly-proven romantic leads right before Valentines Day, but it's difficult to imagine many of them being happy with the shit sandwich they'll receive. It's no accident that this is opening in the movie dog-days of January/February; the studio clearly knew what they had. Hell, they even put "Fool" in the title to clue you in. Shallow, joyless and interminably dull, "Fool's Gold" is one of the sorriest excuses for a movie in recent months.

"Fool's Gold" opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, February 8th.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

whatever assholes. you haters. just cuz u aint as hot as matt and cant get a girl like kate.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Andy Tennant's "Fool's Gold" is, above all, a showcase for Matthew McConaughey's mightily impressive tits.

The gender role reversal, the searing objectification: I love it, I love it, I love it!

7:48 AM  

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