Can't get enough of a shirtless Matthew McConaughey? Then you may enjoy Fool's Gold... emphasis on the "may". In the film, opening today, McConaughey stretches his pecs (if not his acting muscles) by playing a laid-back beach bum in the middle of a divorce to his wife Tess (Kate Hudson) whom he enlist to help find a priceless piece sunken treasure. Predictably, their romance is reignited. Also predictably, the film sucks despite the presence of sun-kissed hair, skin, and golden treasures. The lackluster reviews after the jump.
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.
New York Times:
Will Finn and Tess find the treasure before the bad guys? Will they put aside their differences and rekindle their love? Yes to both questions! I haven't spoiled anything, by the way. But perhaps I've saved you some trouble.
While there are worse things than watching McConaughey and Hudson disport themselves - except to see them walking around in the briefest of bathing gear, I can't think of why anyone would want to endure this soggy mess. "There's no fool like a gold fool," quips one character in a line that may be taken to dissuade ticketbuyers.
The Hollywood Reporter:
A soggy, listless affair, this would-be fun-in-the-sun sunken-treasure frivolity starts taking on water from the get-go, thanks to drawn-out exposition and languid pacing.
Alas, the characters, too, are comic book cliches, beginning with McConaughey, a latter-day Jimmy Buffett, set in opposition to Hudson's doctoral candidate. In another era, the movie might have been titled "The Beachcomber and the Scholar." But even that shopworn conflict is watered down.
The lure of Matthew McConaughey shirtless for extended stretches doubtless has some marketing value, but after that, "Fool's Gold" offers small compensation — a listless romantic comedy that, almost out of desperation, turns a little more violent than necessary near the end.
Let's just say that enjoyment, even trashy enjoyment, is not to be sneered at. Boredom, on the other hand, is — and that's the real crime committed by the dead-in-the-water Fool's Gold and the cold-as-last-year's-catchphrase The Hottie & the Nottie, comedies that have all the zing of a gossip item you don't want to bother reading to the end.
The Onion A.V. Club:
Some films are so bold, innovative, and aesthetically revolutionary that they seem to single-handedly reinvent cinema. And then there's the new Matthew McConaughey comedy Fool's Gold, which is the kind of thing people watch because it's the in-flight movie, and two hours of McConaughey and Kate Hudson romping about in skimpy clothing on the open sea beats contemplating the intricacies of the SkyMall catalog.
With all due respect to the striking guild members marching around the studio entrances in Burbank and Culver City, any more than two writers on a movie usually spells trouble. On the other hand, that two of the three scribes responsible for "Fool's Gold" have previously specialized in horror makes perfect sense.
Hudson and McConaughey, who made an almost-not-bad pairing in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," try to repeat that mediocre magic here. But Hudson is at a point in her career where she has to do more than just glow: Her timing is good, but she never throws off any crazy sparks — everything she does is too controlled and a little too cute. And McConaughey, not long ago voted People's Sexiest Man Alive, coasts here. Every time he flashes that million-dollar smile, I get the feeling he'd like to write up a bill for it. This is a guy who gives nothing away for free.
Where How to Lose a Guy was mildly diverting and McConaughey and Hudson did have some visible heat, Fool's Gold strays from the romantic-comedy genre and suffers. By trying to fuse a chick flick with an action-adventure saga, it fails resoundingly at both.