Fool's Gold

Fool's Gold


Reviewed by: Val Kermode

Too long at almost two hours, this can’t seem to make up its mind what sort of film it wants to be. As a romance, not enough feeling. As a comedy, not enough laughs; and as a treasure hunt, just not enough excitement.

Ben (Matthew McConaughey) and Tess (Kate Hudson) are the treasure hunting couple about to divorce, though this is not what Ben wants, so we know it’s only a matter of time before they get back together. While out diving, Ben finds a clue to the location of the treasure they have read about. By a happy accident he finds himself on the luxury yacht of multi-millionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland) for whom Tess works as a steward. Initially annoyed to see Ben, Tess perks up when she hears about the latest find. If only there were someone rich enough to finance their venture.

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In a long scene which will have you shuffling in your seat Ben and Tess tell Honeycutt the complicated story of how the treasure came to be there. And off they go to find it. Not before time. Of course, it’s near an island which belongs to the chief villain, also after the loot. But he happens to be a rapper called Bigg Bunny, which isn’t very funny or scary.

Also involved in this sad caper as Ben’s old rival is Ray Winstone, who really should have known better, though his accent – American Deep South via London East End – is possibly the funniest thing in the film. And talking of accents, the wonderful Ewen Bremner is Ben’s Ukrainian friend. (Why Ukrainian?).

The arrival of Alexis Dziena as Honeycutt’s spoilt and dim daughter promises to liven things up comedy-wise. She makes the most of the part, but the one joke – she’s not very bright – soon begins to wear thin and makes the other characters seem less sympathetic.

The story is set in the Caribbean, but most of the filming was done in Queensland, Australia, which looks stunning. There’s quite a lot of comedy violence, and Matthew McConaughey without a shirt, if you like that kind of thing. Unfortunately there’s not much else here to engage you.

Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2008
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An estranged couple rock the boat while treasure hunting.
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Director: Andy Tennant

Writer: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Andy Tennant, John Claflin, Daniel Zelman

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, Alexis Dziena, Ewen Bremner, Ray Winstone, Kevin Hart, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Brian Hooks, David Roberts, Michael Mulheren

Year: 2008

Runtime: 113 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

National Treasure: Book Of Secrets