Matthew McConaughey devours scenes like a starving man as Kenny Wells, the proxy for David Walsh, one of the men at the center of the 1993 Bre-X mining scandal. Wells is as down on his luck as possible when he teams up with geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) and finds the biggest gold strike of the decade. Soon the money is rolling in from Wall Street (represented by Corey Stoll and Bill Camp), and Kenny is making long-term plans with his part-time cocktail waitress, Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard).
While the film’s exhilarating account of Kenny’s rise promises a spectacular fall, the cause of said fall is surprising. Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan’s feature directing follow-up to Syriana may lack geopolitical relevance, but it recounts an entertaining real-life yarn via a magnetic storyteller. In his bald wig, fake belly (I assume) and tightie whities, McConaughey wants to make sure audiences know that nothing embarrasses him. The film is yet another example of an acting tour de force adequately masking narrative flaws. The result will not win any gold, but it is also no Fool’s Gold.