Fool's Gold Review

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Treasure hunter Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan (McConaughey) unearths a map which, he believes, will lead him to a shipwreck loaded with loot. His soon-to-be ex-wife Tess (Hudson) thinks he’s an idiot. Cue McConaughey’s naked torso and much boring larking about.


First of all, don’t let this witless excuse for a romantic action romp’s $20 million US opening deceive you. The inexplicable ker-chinging of box-office tills must have been sweet, sweet music to the ears of everyone involved. Fool’s gold indeed.

Hoping to catch the coattails of the National Treasure franchise (dream big, guys!), this insipid wad of sun-soaked fluff stars Matthew McConaughey in default mode as laidback beach-bum-slash-treasure-hunter Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan, whose boat is called Booty Calls (see what they did there?). He believes he has discovered a map leading to the whereabouts of the mythical Queen’s Dowry - an enormous haul of loot lost at sea in 1715. Kate Hudson, squandering yet more of her dwindling audience goodwill, is his estranged wife Tess who, you know, can’t help loving the big lug in spite of herself.

Aiding their utterly implausible quest is Donald Sutherland, painfully miscast as an English tycoon who lives aboard his yacht with his bubble-headed daughter (Alexis Dziena). An indication of the quality of what we’ve got here is how artfully Sutherland’s character is conveyed: since he can’t come up with a convincing accent, he’s kitted out with a ‘terribly British’ silk ascot instead.

Embroiled in a plot that would barely pass muster as an episode of Relic Hunter, the leads mug and grin their gym-toned butts off without generating an ounce of chemistry. Chief among the questions that leap to mind is how McConaughey and Hudson, who both showed glowing promise in their breakout roles, managed to sink to such perilous depths of inanity. Even their last fluffy pairing, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, looks like There Will Be Blood next to this. Hudson at least displays the occasional spark of personality but, these days, McConaughey’s talent seems to be confined to keeping his shirt off for the maximum amount of time.

Absolute tosh. A ridiculous, unerringly tedious plot is weighed down by listless performances from a cast who clearly wished they were somewhere else, despite the sumptuous locations.