Fool's Gold (2008)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy, Romantic Adventure  |   Release Date - Feb 8, 2008 (USA)  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

The stars of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days reunite for what could have been another lazy paycheck movie, another in a string of undemanding romantic comedies featuring Matthew McConaughey as a charming scoundrel. Rather, Fool's Gold has the action-adventure trappings of McConaughey's Sahara -- which, granted, could also be a bad thing. But he and Kate Hudson make this movie work with their undeniable chemistry, timing, and gifts for physical comedy. It's worth noting that the Florida Keys setting doesn't hurt. When it comes to hunts for buried treasure involving hapless yet charismatic characters who aren't too distantly separated from each other on the scale from hero to villain, Fool's Gold is the kind of movie you want.

Director Andy Tennant does a good job keeping the tone light, without removing the specter of real danger hanging over the whole enterprise. He does this through a handful of funny, smartly choreographed near-death escapes for McConaughey's Finn, where someone usually ends up getting shot in the foot. There are good supporting performances here, from Ewen Bremner as a Russian diver, Donald Sutherland as a yacht-owning billionaire, Alexis Dziena as his heiress daughter, and Kevin Hart as a rapper-turned-Caribbean gangster named Big Bunny. In fact, this motley crew of characters gives Fool's Gold the feel of one of Carl Hiaasen's satirical Florida-based mystery novels, filled with quintessentially Floridian lowlifes. But make no mistake -- it's the zippiness of the relationship between Finn and Hudson's Tess that makes this movie work. The nearly divorced couple, their heads firmly planted in the clouds, bicker like people who love each other despite -- or perhaps because of -- their ample supply of faults. You may hate yourself, consider yourself a bit the fool, for liking Fool's Gold, but it's a valid reaction to the finished product.