Official Synopsis: Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.
Plot: A prospector in the late 1980's has a dream about gold in Indonesia, then teams with a well-known geologist to make the "largest gold find of all-time."
Take: The story follows Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) a third generation prospector that is basically at rock bottom. He has a dream about gold in Indonesia, then uses his last dime (and girlfriend's jewelry) to fund a trip and start up dig to find the gold. There he teams with Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) and the locals to find the gold, while his team back home sells the prospect of the find to raise capital. Wells girlfriend Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) is in the movie and everyone around him tries to take advantage of his find including a hotshot in New York (Corey Stoll), a beautiful woman (Rachael Taylor), and a successful business man (Bruce Greenwood).
Overall this is very paint buy numbers. A "hero" character is down on his luck, hits rock bottom, and then stumbles into the thing that will fix all. He loses the girl in the process and has to fight to save his name and credibility. In the end he gets everything he might have lost.
Again, this is a very generic movie, but two not very generic things stood out to me. One while watching the movie and another after researching the real story.
First, for 75% of the movie the character of Kenny Wells was extremely unlikeable. There was little to nothing that was redeemable about the character until a random, sudden switch. Maybe this was done on purpose, maybe this was just poor storytelling. The character of Mike Acosta was very likeable. Very, very likeable. Then, all the sudden it was revealed he was the actual bad guy and Wells was the innocent victim in the story, leading to him getting the money, the girl, and basically everything positive in the end.
Secondarily, a quick Google search shows that Kenny Wells was actually David Walsh, Mike Acosta was actually Michael de Guzman, and an American company was actually a Canadian company. Why even make the movie?
Across the board the acting was very good. McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar) is always great, Ramirez (Hands of Stone, Joy) is one of the best working actors today, and the rest of the ensemble was solid.
Recommendation: I caught this one on Redbox because it was in theaters for a cup of coffee where I am locally, so the cost of $1.50 was not bad. This is not dissimilar to The Founder, The Free State of Jones, and other true event movies of recent years. Check it out if you want to see a movie...
How about a Watergate movie, but set in South Africa, Regan is a Mockingbird, with Woodward and Bernstein played by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen?
I love Matthew McConaughey and was looking forward to this movie because of the subject matter and plot, but it turned out to be a dud for me.
Though it does come up short regarding the possibilities its story could go, Gold is still a mildly compelling biopic with a great performance from McConaughey.