In 2003, Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson starred in the decently funny, and very successful, romantic comedy, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which grossed over $100 million in its box office run. I happened to catch that movie on a cross-country flight, which probably made it more enjoyable for me than it actually was, since I literally had nothing better to do. Romantic comedies generally don't lend themselves well to sequels, so the next best thing is to reunite the two stars of the original in another movie, with essentially the same premise (because let's face, all romantic comedies have essentially the same premise).
This is how Fool's Gold came to be made. The movie brings back McConaughey and Hudson, this time as a married couple. Remember, this would be a sequel if could they make a sequel to How to Lose a Guy, and a sequel always has to have more than the original more action, more stars, more villains, more everything. Fool's Gold adds two new elements that How to Lose a Guy didn't have: 1) action adventure, and 2) much, much more of McConaughey's and Hudson's half-naked bodies. Because let's face it, if there was a flaw in How to Lose a Guy, it's that the stars had too many clothes on most of the time (and if you think I'm kidding about this, check out the movie poster).
So those two new elements lead us to the premise of Fool's Gold: McConaughey is Ben Finn Finnegan, surfer turned treasure hunter, and Hudson is Tess, his estranged wife. Finn is obsessed with finding the Queen's Dowry, a sunken Spanish galleon loaded with gold from the 18th century. Tess has had enough of treasure hunting, however, and intends to divorce her husband. They are brought back together when Finn scams into way onto the yacht of billionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland, picking up a nice check, which he can probably use while Dirty Sexy Money, which is much livelier fare, is on hiatus), where, surprise of surprises, Tess is working. Throw in more skin, played by Alexis Dziena as Honeycutt's daughter Gemma, and away we go on a treasure-seeking adventure (cue historically-sounding mishmash, ala National Treasure.
It's a sequel-in-disguise, however, and we need villains, the more the merrier! And preferably with bad accents! So, throw in Ray Winstone, as Moe Fitch, Finn's former mentor and competitor for the sunken treasure. Nevermind that Winstone is British let's have him use an awful Southern twang. Great idea. Ewen Bremmer is Moe's henchmen; Bremmer is Scottish, but why not let him play a Ukrainian? I am glad to see Malcolm-Jamal Warner getting some work as henchmen to Kevin's Hart's gangsta-rapper character of Bigg Bunny. That's right - Bigg Bunny. You can only get away with crap like that if your movie is really good, and Fool's Gold decidedly misses the mark on that one.
In the end, neither the romantic comedy nor the action adventure pieces of Fool's Gold work very well, or really, at all. It's neither funny nor exciting. The actors look like they're sleepwalking through the production. This is not merely a movie better watched on cable on a random Wednesday night when nothing else is on. It's a movie that should never be watched under any circumstances at all. Fool's Gold doesn't even have the common courtesy to come in at the usual romantic comedy mark of 90 minutes, instead dragging on for nearly two full hours, which is an eternity when suffering through this drivel.
Bottom line any time that, on the way out of the theater, my wife apologizes for making me go to a movie, it's bad. Well, my wife is so apologetic about Fool's Gold that she has already agreed to go to see the so-likely-to-be awful-it's-scary Doomsday which comes out in a few weeks. (Why Doomsday? Did you not see Rhona Mitra on Boston Legal? I almost stopped watching the show when she left it.)
P.S. I do have one important question about Fool's Gold - is that Kate Hudson's body on the movie poster or a double?
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