Fools Gold

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, Ewen Bremner, Alexis Dziena, Kevin Hart, Ray Winstone. Comedy Adventure. Written by John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Andy Tennant. Director: Andy Tennant.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Ben Finn Finnegan (Matthew McConaughey) is an affable, modern-day treasure hunter who is obsessed with finding the legendary 18th century Queens Dowry40 chests of priceless treasure that was lost at sea in 1715. In his quest, Finn has sunk everything he has, including his marriage to Tess (Kate Hudson). Just as Tess has begun to rebuild her life, working aboard a mega-yacht owned by billionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland), Finn discovers a vital clue to the treasures whereabouts. Much to Tesss consternation, Finn maneuvers himself aboard Nigels yacht and, using his roguish charm, convinces the tycoon and his celebutante daughter, Gemma (Alexis Dziena), to join him in the pursuit of the Spanish treasure. But they are not the only ones after the prize. Finns one-time mentor, Moe Fitch (Ray Winstone), and a ruthless local gangster named Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart) are intent on beating Finn to the prize.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Good title, the scenery is beautiful and the leads are attractive. Shall we just leave it at that or do you want me to comment on the energy-less direction, the inaneness of the plot or the adolescent TV sitcom-like dialogue?

Stories of treasure hunters have become a genre unto itself. Its a fun concept, but these folk stumble over treasure exiting their bedroom. It becomes laughable how easy these seekers come across dead mens chests. With just a bit of screenwriting effort, the story and the characters could have contained more depth, more layers, more humor. But evidently studio moguls dont require such story additives. Nor does a generation of moviegoers brought up on cable TV. Sorry, dont mean that as an insult. Weve just become too lackadaisical with our entertainment dollars. I would think people shelling out ten bucks a ticket would be more demanding. The amounts of money 27 Dresses, Meet the Spartans and Rambo are sucking in would indicate otherwise.

Its not a bad film. Its just not a very good film. Certainly not an original one. Every character is a cartoonish caricature, the writing is passionless, and the premise is tired.

And about the films juvenile dialogue, let me ask: is the expression oh my God to be a movie-making staple much like the bouncing hand-held camera? I noticed it popping up in TV sitcoms beginning with Friends, where the irreverent phrase could be heard as many as ten times in a single episode. Now its used by every lightweight screen scribe (and performer). Well, I suppose its better than hearing the s-word every time a character wants to express frustration or insight. But thats all these characters in this film say when a thought crosses their minds. I mean every character in the film says oh my God or variations of it. Oh, and they use the s-word, as well. What they dont use is wit or creativity. When the dialogue is not crude or profane, its sophomoric. Were more forgiving of such lazy scripting on television comedies. I cant help it, I expect more from a movie writer than a television writer. So far this year, Im not getting it.

I find it ironic that writers are striking right now, demanding more money for their work. More money for this?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around ten obscenities, mostly the s-word; as many minor expletives such as damn or hell.

Profanity: Oh my God is uttered at least 20 times; and the male lead profanes Gods name twice with G--d---. He also utters Jesus once, and not in a reverential way.

Violence: Strangely violent. Being a romantic comedy, the violent nature of the film seems out of place in the genre; the lead is hit in the head many times throughout the film; a man is shot to death at point blank range; another gets blown up; and another is pushed out of a plane, we see him fall to his death most of this violent imagery is played for laughs. That may be the most disturbing part. Blood: Some blood and bruising on the leads face.

Sex: Lots of implied sexual situations, but no graphic situations. The lead couple, divorced, fall back into love, or at least lust at one point, having sex in a church basement. This is not shown in detail and the awkwardness of the situation is played for laughs

Nudity: Brief shot of party girl exposing her breasts. Several women are seen in brief attire throughout.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several sexual discussions.

Drugs: Lots of social drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Above

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.