Don’t suf­fer th­ese fools

FOOLS GOLD Di­rected by Andy Ten­nant. Star­ring Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hud­son, Don­ald Suther­land, Alexis Dziena, Ray Win­stone

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Filmreviews - DON­ALD CLARKE

12A cert, gen re­lease, 113 min THE LAST thing you want to en­counter when you’re feel­ing mis­er­able is a bunch of peo­ple con­spic­u­ously hav­ing a whale of time. That sense of re­sent­ment is height­ened when the rev­ellers – let’s call them Kate, Matt and Don­ald – were the cause of your un­hap­pi­ness in the first place.

Just look at them scuba div­ing, knock­ing back cham­pagne and sun­ning them­selves on cabin cruis­ers. Are you en­joy­ing your­selves, you layabouts? Be­cause we’re not. We’re watch­ing your

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go­daw­ful ad­ven­ture com­edy with its fee­ble plot, mo­ronic di­a­logue and border­line-racist stereo­types. The least you could have done is pre­tend you did a bit of work while en­gi­neer­ing our mis­ery.

McConaughey, that huge tower of dead cells, turns up as a reck­less ad­ven­turer who be­lieves he has lo­cated a sunken galleon some short dis­tance off the coast of Florida. Hud­son, play­ing Matt’s es­tranged wife, is scep­ti­cal at first, but, be­cause the film re­quires it, soon be­comes per­suaded that his claims de­serve in­ves­ti­ga­tion. They are as­sisted by Suther­land’s English bil­lion­aire and by his vac­u­ous hy­per-Hil­ton of a daugh­ter. Ray Win­stone’s un­con­vinc­ingly south­ern sal­vage op­er­a­tor and his as­so­ciates from the world of rap mu­sic set out to thwart their schemes.

One gets the sense that the pro­duc­ers know that the stars don’t have the charisma to carry the film. Why else would they pack the story with dozens of ap­pallingly broad – and oc­ca­sion­ally of­fen­sive – sin­gle-gag com­edy side­kicks? For­mer kid Mal­colm-Ja­mal Warner turns up as one of sev­eral mo­ron­i­cally vi­o­lent AfricanAmer­i­can hood­lums. Win­stone wears a silly shirt and speaks like Foghorn Leghorn. Two chefs seek laugh­ter by be­hav­ing in a bla­tantly ho­mo­sex­ual fash­ion. Ewen Bremner’s char­ac­ter re­minds us that East Euro­peans are stupid and sleazy. Don­ald Suther­land doesn’t ac­tu­ally don mon­o­cle and bowler hat to play his com­i­cal posh English­man, but it must, surely, have been a close run thing.

None of this play­fully racist ab­sur­dity suc­ceeds in dis­tract­ing from the grind­ingly pedes­trian script and the thin­ness of the cen­tral premise.

Mind you, the oc­ca­sional surges of anger that the film in­spires – Ha! Ha! The Ukrainian char­ac­ter ex­pects his host to of­fer pros­ti­tutes af­ter din­ner – should just about keep you awake de­spite the pro­tracted run­ning time.

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