Gold Review
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In the 1800s, prospectors left their lives behind to race across the country, hoping to make their fortunes off the precious metals and minerals found in rivers and hills out west. But the real-world adventure Gold portrays a very different kind of prospector.

Gold stars Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells, a prospector whose family business is all but lost after the recession in the ‘80s. He’s lost his house and his investors, and he drinks way more than he should. But then a dream inspires him to seek out geologist Mike Acosta (Edgar Ramírez), who’s convinced that they can find gold in the remote jungles of Indonesia. And together, after they manage to persuade a handful of investors to take a chance on their venture, the unlikely business partners battle sickness, hardships, and cutthroat competition on their quest for fortune and prospecting fame.

Inspired by the Bre-X scandal of the ‘90s, Gold tells a fascinating story about desperation, determination, and perception. This isn’t the old prospector story—with a bunch of haggard men looking for gold in raging rivers in California. Instead, Kenny and Mike set up camp in the jungle and hire local villagers to help them search for the minerals. But there’s so much more to the story, too: the investors and phone calls and business meetings in shiny office buildings. It’s an intriguing scenario that relies on two very different worlds for its success.

In a way, Gold has a kind of Wolf of Wall Street feel. It’s not nearly as wild and excessive and exhausting, but it’s another crazy real-life story about a character who comes out of nowhere to rise...and fall...and rise the industry. Its ups and downs do feel somewhat drawn out after a while, though they still make for an entertaining tale.

But at the center of it all is one eccentric main character—and a perfectly madcap performance. Kenny is a fast-talking wheeler and dealer. Admittedly, he’s a pretty shady character—a heavy drinker with an oversized ego who’s been forced to resort to running his business out of his favorite bar. But McConaughey gives him that all-important spark that makes him strangely likable in a greasy, cheesy kind of way. And as he fights to save his business and chase his dream, you can’t help but root for him to defy the odds to succeed.

Gold isn’t a powerful or thought-provoking award season entry. It won’t haunt you long after you’ve seen it. But it does tell an intriguing story—and McConaughey and his quirky character make it fun.

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