Movie Review: Fool’s Gold (2008)

I get the distinct feeling I’ve seen Fool’s Gold before. Tell me if this premise seems even remotely familiar to you: A reckless loser with a hot girlfriend, convinces her to join him on a perilous adventure searching for buried treasure on the ocean floor. Need some help jogging your memory banks? Try the 2005 disaster that was Into the Blue. True, that wasn’t a romantic comedy, but it does follow the same storyline.

The only variable that could potentially differentiate these two movies is Fool’s Gold actually has actors starring in it that can act (or at least have shown the ability to act believably). Matthew McConaughey, who has done good films like We Are Marshall and A Time to Kill, replaces Paul Walker and Kate Hudson, who stood out in Almost Famous, replaces Jessica Alba. Yet even though there is so much more upside, this isn’t much better than the mess of a movie it copies.

The why is easy to quantify. The snap and sizzle that McConaughey and Hudson shared in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days isn’t present in Fool’s Gold. The fault for that lies with the way John Claflin, Daniel Zelman and Andy Tennant (who also directed) set the movie up. Too much emphasis is put squarely on the disagreement side of Benjamin (McConaughey) and Tess’s (Hudson) relationship and not enough on the cutesy fun side of things. It’s obviously a by-product of the fact that our leads are divorced – from each other. Divorce isn’t exactly a comedy gem type of topic, and great pains must be taken to make it fun. Joking about how slovenly someone is and then remarking about how great the sex was is hardly a concerted effort at wit.

When it became evident, that this tit-for-tat banter wasn’t overly entertaining, the writing trio decided to throw in a couple of gay guys and a dumber-than-dirt, rich bimbo (played by Alexis Dziena) to fill in for some laughs. Note to anyone with the power to make a difference – stereotypical fags aren’t funny anymore. They haven’t been for some time, hence the reason Will & Grace went the way of the dinosaur. And in another sad attempt to gloss over the lack of substance, as many scenes as possible (and there are a lot) are shot with Mr. McConaughey in some form of undress. Yes, he’s handsome and in great shape, I get it. But for Christ’s sake, is it really necessary for me, or anyone else in the audience, to be beaten repetitively about the face and body with it? Even boxers get a minute break in-between rounds . . .

So interestingly enough, the more I write this review, the more I am inclined to think that perhaps Fool’s Gold is a worse version of the movie it takes most of its cues from. McConaughey and Hudson are reduced to mannequins – pale and lifeless. The sexiness factor is a losing proposition too – Alba is 100-times hotter than Hudson (and as a heterosexual man, I don’t care which guy is better looking). The adventure they’re on is about as exciting as getting a catheter shoved up your shaft. The secondary characters are cartoony at best; the villain is a bad guy rapper named Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart) and Donald Sutherland plays a pathetic billionaire who gets suckered into financing a treasure hunt. Puleaze!

Verdict: You’re a fool to think there is any gold to be found in this shipwreck.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
1 Star Rating: Stay Away


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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Fool’s Gold (2008)' have 5 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 16, 2008 @ 5:17 pm soundtrackgeek

    Sounds like a real gold digger this one. I am still hoping for a good soundtrack. Even though Into the Blue was a terrible movie, the (still) unreleased score by Paul Haslinger was pretty good. Agree with you on the Hudson vs. Alba comparison. Maybe if this movie had Alba, I might at least watch the trailer.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 17, 2008 @ 11:08 pm tristan

    I heard this was a terrible movie, and jut by the title it was nothing I would ever see. I know don’t judge a movie by its title but the ones I thought were crap have always been crap if somebody forced me to see it, so I still go by titles sometimes unless I hear really good about it :D

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 21, 2008 @ 12:33 am lil

    I hated this movie. Watching it was torture. Especially the two skeletons (or “female leads” kate hudson and alexis O) with tiny swatches of fabric stretched over select bones. Horrible!

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 9, 2008 @ 3:21 am Ojay

    Well, this movie wasn’t that terrible, but very near it. It had it’s occasional truly funny parts. The little rich girl was the most ‘funny’ part of the movie in a bit of an annoying was hehe. :)

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 16, 2010 @ 12:01 pm the dark persian

    When are movie makers going to get it? In real life, the people we are drawn to we have a connection with, a chemistry. It’s not faked, it’s not corny, it’s there, we laugh with each other and have fun with each other. We want to see that on screen, multiplied by like a hundred so that we can relate to it and feel it. No chemistry between the leads = no chemistry between audiences and the movie.

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