Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"They have dirt under their fingernails"

Not all that glitters...

Yet another "based on" biog. This time the subject of your disapproval is Kenny Wells, a prospector, a chancer, a dreamer, a downer, a drinker and an inhabitant of Reno, Nevada, which means his accent sounds aggressively over the edge in a loud way.

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It doesn't take long before you have made up your mind that Gold is The Wolf Of Wall Street lite which would be the wrong assessment because Kenny is not a con artist in the style of American Hustle and certainly lacks the charm of Jordan Belfort.

"Does it occur to you that I know what I'm doing?" he snaps at his wife (Bryce Dallas Howard).

She's a nice person and doesn't argue the point, but he doesn't know what he's doing, not really. He's ignorant and a bully (sound familiar?) and follows his instinct which, in this case, results in "the largest gold find of the decade."

Once the news breaks the sharks begin to circle. They wear suits and have expensive manners and come under the heading Investment Banking. The story splits between Kenny's inability to handle fame'n'fortune and the money guys' ability to talk percentages, otherwise known as daylight robbery.

The plot has a twist in its tail but essentially reinforces the morality of The Big Short. Smart financiers eat luck for breakfast. Kenny and his South American partner (Edgar Ramirez) consider themselves in a different league to casino junkies. They have dirt under their fingernails.

Matthew McConaughey has done a physical makeunder since Dallas Buyer's Club. Then he was as skinny as a rat on the wire. Now he's balding and fat. It is a brave performance that succeeds in turning you off Kenny, which turns you off the movie.

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2017
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An unlikely pair venture to the Indonesian jungle in search of gold.
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