Matthew McConaughey, who plays the lead, in this film, was a real pin-up boy not so many years back. Perhaps the best thing in this rather dull film is McConaughey’s look: he allows himself to appear with a partly bald head and greasy straggly hair and a paunch. He certainly tries hard as he portrays Kenny Wells, a very unlucky prospector who goes to Indonesia to find gold.
The movie is based on the true story of a mining scandal which took place in 1993, involving a company called Bre-X. All the names have been changed and, apparently, many of the facts. Kenny takes over his father’s business in the early 1990s but doesn’t make a success of it. He decides to go to Borneo, Indonesia to find gold. Kenny searches out a geologist and finds Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez), who is hard up and responds to Kenny’s call to help. The two get local Indonesians to begin drilling and Kenny has a group of workers in suits back at his home town in Nevada selling to investors. He is also supported by his loyal girlfriend Kay (a thankless part for lovely Bryce Dallas Howard). Although he appears to strike it rich, Kenny Wells is really a con-man.
The script is rather mundane but photography is okay especially in the jungle scenes. The best part of the film is the acting. McConaghey has to play someone who is not altogether bad but certainly not a hero, and, on the whole he achieves this and his look is just right. With a certain amount of natural charisma Edgar Ramirez is a good foil for McConaughey and Toby Kebbell as an FBI investigator gives a satisfactory performance. There is a good little twist at the end of the film – so do stay awake!
It’s an action adventure about discovering gold, but the metal in this film is more like dull metal.
Review by Carlie Newman