When Gordon Gekko stood on the podium in the film ‘Wall Street’, he famously said that ‘greed was good’. He failed to mention greed could also be dangerous. When there is money to be made, there are usually dozens of people waiting in line for a slice of the pie. ‘Gold’ presents a good example. Loosely based on true events, its tale of fortune and infamy is one that would have made Gekko smile. Money may not buy happiness but it does buy trouble as ‘Gold’ shows.
Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) is a troubled businessman. Desperate to keep his family business afloat, Kenny looks to any means to keep his head above water. Hearing about a gold mine in Indonesia, he hooks up with gifted miner Mike Acosta (Edgar Ramirez). Almost immediately striking it rich, Kenny thinks his troubles are finally over. Unfortunately they are just the beginning as the fortune he acquires brings out the vultures keen to grab his hard-earned windfall.
‘Gold’ is a deceptive film that creeps up on you. Like most good movies, it takes it’s time to present its myriad of twists for a final, delicious sting in the tale. Whilst it meanders occasionally and has quirky moments that don’t fully fit into the narrative, ‘Gold’ rewards viewers’ patience. Most of its success is due to McConaughey’s spirited performance. Wells is a perennial desperate loser who will do anything to grab riches. His ego and determination are both his strengths and failings. You feel you know this person well in McConaughey’s talented hands.
He is more than matched by Ramirez and Bryce Dallas Howard playing Wells’ girlfriend. ‘Gold’s mix of comedy and drama doesn’t always work but it makes a difference from usually dour essays on fortune making. Wells’ interaction with bankers and other rich miscreants wanting his dough is often amusing with the sharks in Wall Street scarier than many horror villains.
Although ‘Gold’ has a few structural script problems, it never fails to capture attention. The cast are consistently good with the pacing and direction firing on all cylinders. Greed may not be good but it can be fun as ‘Gold’s cast of money miscreants show in fine style.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.