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Review

Hudson, McConaughey reunite for lackluIster ‘Fool’s Gold’

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February 14, 2008

Usually, the term “fool’s gold” refers to a mineral that can be mistaken for real gold. But when applied to a new adventure/comedy of the same name, though, the gold is the amount of moolah the flick will pull in opening weekend, and the fools are those souls unfortunate enough to endure this boring crud.

  Having slogged through “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” together, Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson reunite to play Finn and Tess, a married couple on the verge of divorce. While she wants to settle down and complete her degree, he’s off gallivanting on an endless search for buried treasure.

  But their divorce hasn’t been final for five minutes before Finn presents Tess with evidence of the potential find of their lives: the Queen’s Dowry, a lost Spanish treasure trove worth hundreds of millions. In no time, the pair are in hot pursuit of the loot. But they’re going to have to work fast to track it down, because a rap mogul (Kevin Hart) that Finn once crossed has gotten word of the Queen’s Dowry as well, going so far as to hire Finn’s former mentor (Ray Winstone) to uncover it first.

  There are few things I hate more than a movie that overestimates itself to a fault, and “Fool’s Gold” is indeed such a flick. In the wake of the huge success of the National Treasure movies, you can just feel that the people behind “Fool’s Gold” are trying way too hard to stake out a potential franchise of their own. But everything the film does to try to impress itself upon the viewers only contributes to its annoyance factor. The script comes jam-packed with way too many so-called “endearing” characters, who are more along the lines of stereotypical caricatures.

  It also has a strange habit of having a character say a humorous line (in how the objective is to come across as funny; whether or not it succeeds is another matter), then waiting a few beats before someone else says something. It’s almost as if the writers thought that these lines would absolutely kill, so they’d better pause for a bit for the assured laughter to clear up. 

  As for the performances, the acting’s only as good as the material allows the performers to be. McConaughey can play the role of the lovable goofball in his sleep, so he makes it through the production relatively unscathed. I also have to give credit to Hudson, who I’m not that big a fan of, for not allowing her character to unravel and end up coming across as a one-note shrew.

  In the end, “Fool’s Gold” reminded me a lot of “The Holiday,” in that the film pretty much exists just to be pretty. But whereas at least a good part of “The Holiday” actually worked, you’ll have better luck finding your own stash of buried treasure than you will finding any real entertainment value out of this hollow venture.

A.J. Hakari is a student at UW-River Falls.