Fool's Gold

It's early in the year, but I defy any 2008 comedy to be as stupid, slack and sexless as Fool's Gold. And I'm counting Paris Hilton's appalling The Hottie and the Nottie, which is marginally better. You want plot? Fool's Gold steals a few pages from, of all misbegotten things, the National Treasure franchise. A topless (brain included) Matthew McConaughey plays Ben "Finn" Finnegan, a treasure hunter who is totally convinced he has found a map to a Spanish galleon that sunk off the coast of Florida in 1715. His about-to-be ex-wife Tess, played by Kate Hudson with the woebegone expression of an actress who knows she's made another bad career decision, thinks he's nuts. But, damn, she still loves the guy, even though they fight. For the record, you're more likely to discover treasure under your multiplex seat than detect any chemistry between McConaughey and Hudson. Clumsily directed by Andy Tenant (Hitch), from a script he co-wrote with John Clafin and Daniel Zelman while presumably incapacitated on umbrella drinks, Fool's Gold is anchored only by idiocy. It's sad to see such excellent actors as Donald Sutherland and Ray Winstone trading audience goodwill for a paycheck. I could swear that Sutherland, as a tycoon with an heirhead daughter (Alexis Dziena), is trying to disguise his voice so audiences will forget it's him. Not so fast. Fool's Gold bores you so breathless you want to take names and exact punishment.

From The Archives Issue 326: September 18, 1980
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