GOLD – A Review by John Strange

By: John ‘Doc’ Strange
Gold is based on true story of the 1993 Bre-X mining scandal.  That is what I knew as I walked into the theater.  I also knew the film starred Matthew McConaughey.  What I knew did not prepare me for this film.
The film opens in 1981 at the offices of a mining company run by the Wells family.  Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey), the youngest generation of the Wells’ prospecting line, is showing off the operation to the woman he loves, Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard).  We meet Kenny’s father, Kenny (Craig T. Nelson) who has made the company into a player in the mining business.  Kenny Sr. dies without Kenny Jr. ever seeing him again.
Advance seven years into the future.  The company is no longer run out of the building they had owned.  The staff works from the bar where Kay works.  This is both good and bad as Kenny now drinks… a lot.  That is only one of the transformations we have to deal with.
Matthew McConaughey has gone all of the way to play the Kenny we now see.  Balding with a distinct paunch and veneers on his teeth, give us a man who has backslid almost to the brink.  He is desperate to make a score that will save him, his company, and his staff (who are his friends).
The thought comes to him to hook up with someone he met a few years prior; someone whose ability to find minerals has been denounced by the powers that be around the world, geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramírez).  His discovery of a huge copper mine a few years earlier is fuel that drives Kenny to find Acosta.  He pawns all he has to reach the geologist.
This is a film that takes us to the deep jungles of Indonesia where Kenny nearly dies to the boardrooms of the companies that desired to own/steal a piece of the fortune.  It grabs our heartstrings as we watch the fortunes of the principles drop and levitate with the rapidity of an express elevator.
This is a story that will give you what you want from a good film.  It has a well written story portrayed by excellent actors and actresses.  It has all of the plot twists you could ask for.  It has magnificent scenery balanced by 1980’s clothing that, well, was ugly.
And through it all, I just kept staring at the buck tooth sticking out of Kenny’s mouth.  Rich or poor, that tooth…
This is a film worth watching.  It is perhaps not a great date movie but one that all fans of Matthew McConaughey must see.  I just hope that this isn’t the film where Mr. McConaughey finds he can’t regain his normal physique.  That would be sad.
Directed by: Stephen Gaghan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramírez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell, Bill Camp, Joshua Harto, Timothy Simons, Craig T. Nelson, Macon Blair, Adam LeFevre, Frank Wood, Michael Landes, Bhavesh Patel, Rachael Taylor, Stacy Keach
MPAA Rating: R (for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity)
Selig Rating: A
Runtime: 120 Min.
Movie Site:
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
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