Published Feb 07, 2008Like the seemingly valuable substance its named after, this film tries to trick the audience into thinking its more than meets the eye. However, by attempting fulfil the dual role of "treasure hunt/romantic comedy, exemplified by films like Romancing the Stone, Fools Gold fails.
Ben "Finn Finnegan (Matthew McConaughey) and his wife Tess (Kate Hudson) are getting divorced. After years of hunting the Caribbean seas for a lost treasure, Tess has had enough of the wandering lifestyle. But, when Finn arrives at their divorce proceedings with the secret location of the biggest treasure horde in history, Tess is once again drawn into his world of adventure. Teaming up with an eccentric billionaire and his ditzy socialite daughter, the newly unmarried couple set off to find the lost gold, fight off a rival faction of treasure hunters led by a famous rapper and rediscover their love.
Fools Gold never decides what type of movie it wants to be, with the romance, adventure and comedy in constant conflict for plot dominance. Case in point, the films "bad guys, played by Brian Hooks and Malcom-Jamal Warner (who gurgles his way through the film with a distracting "island accent of some sort). At times, the thuggish goons seem like incompetent, comic relief but they also have moments of brutality more in line with an action movie.
The films most straightforward and enjoyable performances are given by supporting actors Ewan Bremner and Alexis Dziena, who get most of the funny lines but, sadly, dont have nearly enough screen time. Lead actors Hudson and McConaughey never spark romantically, possibly due to the fact that the "getting to know you tension typical in romantic comedies occurred years before this story starts, leaving them without enough conflict to make their relationship interesting.
Lacking the on-screen chemistry for romance and falling short of the high flying adventure necessary for a good treasure hunt, Fools Gold manages to fulfil the destiny of its title: its pretty and it will catch your attention but in the end, its not worth the effort. (Warner)