Gold (2016)

(Video on-Demand, May 2017) The good news are that while Gold is based on a true story, it’s certainly not beholden to it, and so the Canadian Bre-X scandal becomes an American one and the hero is allowed to walk away with what amounts to a happy ending of sorts. The film is at its best when it offers a look behind the scenes of a mining company, from exploring prospective mining sites to meeting investors on Wall Street. Matthew McConaughey de-glams himself in the lead role, taking on a balding haircut, unflattering teeth and an overweight physique to give us a character unlike any in his filmography. It’s not a great performance on the order of what he’s been regularly presenting in the past half-decade, but it’s decent enough and he surrounds himself with capable character actors such as Édgar Ramírez, Bryce Dallas Howard and Corey Stoll. The film itself is rather duller than you’d expect from the high-flying subject matter—writer/director Stephen Gaghan has done much better in the past, and Gold can’t quite get out of a safe comfort zone. On the other hand, it’s a relatively entertaining watch, and it ends with a somewhat happier note than you’d expect. Gold may not be much more than a standard evening’s entertainment, but the inner look at mining operations can be enough to tip the scale for some viewers.

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