Gold Review – Brilliant, A Thrill Ride from The Beginning

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GOLD, from The Weinstein Company and TWC-Dimension, presents the amazing inspired by true events story of a larger than life, down on his luck, dreamer, who through a vision sees his future and follows it from Reno to the jungles of Indonesia.

Directed by Stephen Gaghan, GOLD, stars Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Craig T. Nelson, Stacy Keach, Bruce Greenwood, Tobey Kebbell, Adam LeFevre, William Sterchi, Corey Stall, Rachel Taylor, Macon Blair and Joshua Harto. GOLD was written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman.

GOLD opens with a young Kenny Wells, played by Matthew McConaughey, sweet talking his girl, Kay, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, as he explains the mining business when his dad, played by Craig T. Nelson, pulls out some geological reports on a recent prospect.

Looking out a huge picture window at Reno, Nevada, with a view as far as they eye could see, he tells Kenny he wants him to run point on this newest mining find.

The next scene has Kenny, a little older, weathered, working the phones, with a skeletal staff. The glory days of mineral rich land mines have gone the way of the recession, the only business he has ever known was in a deep slump and for all the effort Kenny and Washoe Mining just couldn’t catch a break.

A little more alcohol and then one for the road has Kenny passed out and in this state of deep, induced, sleep he has a vision of a mine in Indonesia and a man, whom he recognizes as a past contact. When he wakes, he is supercharged, he finds the business card of Michael Acosta, played by Edgar Ramirez, a mythical geologist who was known in the mining world for discovering the largest copper deposit ever recorded.

Risking everything Wells flies to Indonesia to meet with Acosta. By the end of the meeting the two trek up the river, and further up the mountain to a place where few, except local villagers, have ever ventured. Scribbling a 50/50 split contract on a napkin the two form a partnership.

Heading back to Reno, Wells gathers his team, an extended family of sorts, in it to win it, through the good times, the tough times, and everything in between, all whom worked with his dad, and together they sell investors on the dream. Within a day, they have raised enough to initiate the drilling.

Of course, the pathway to success never runs smooth and for Kenny, it was worse. Unaccustomed to the jungle, he nearly dies from a severe case of malaria, the geological reports continue to come back negative, the money is running out, and the workers aren’t understanding the importance of the work and want paid.

With Kenny sick with malaria, Mike after speaking with the local villagers and asking what they need to come back to work, he found their children were also suffering from the effects of dirty water so to get the men back to work he makes a water filtration system and soon the children are well and then men are back at the mining site.

Weeks go by and a sickly Kenny finally comes out of a fog and wakes to Mike explaining the geological report, unsure as to what he is hearing he suddenly realizes what Mike is telling him is the venture hit! Jett Rink, baby! They struck gold!

And the ride began. Their mining operation was so big, so fast, Wall Street, with all its players, underhanded dealings, manipulations, and preferred outcomes, came courting and offering Kenny Wells, the man from Reno, the jewel in the crown, Washoe Mining was trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.

And the ride grew bigger, faster, and higher than anyone expected and everyone wanted a piece of the pie and some wanted all of it and were willing to go to any lengths to stop the boozing Kenny Wells, a loud mouth, quick tempered, uncouth, and certainly unsophisticated miner from enjoying any more of the spoils from his lucky strike.

GOLD is mesmerizing from the beginning. Even as it is somewhat predictable, up to a certain point (or there would be no reason for the film) the last act or final third of the film is so full of twists and turns, one after the other, that the ending is impossible to predict.

The stellar cast brings a few familiar faces as Stacy Keach shows up as Clive Coleman, Bruce Greenwood, plays an a German Businessman, the richest mining investor in the world.

Edgar Ramirez is captivating. He is reserved, charming, sophisticated, a chameleon, from the jungles of Indonesia to the concrete jungles of Manhattan, he moves effortlessly helping the lowest and charming the movers and shakers. He plays his role so well it is impossible to see the twists coming and figure out where he really stands.  

Bryce Dallas Howard, who is not given the credit as she deserves as an actress, plays long-suffering lover, and wide eyed wonder as the ride sets in, of an explosive, and possibly bi-polar, drinker. She is the rock, and while she may be able to match him at the table she knows when to back away and when circumstances call for practicality. She sees beyond the shimmer.

As the chain smoking, boozer, Kenny Wells, McConaughey puts on about thirty pounds, maybe a little more, he plays a man who loves himself, strutting around in his briefs, bearing his nude derriere, it is obvious the weight he added for the role, unless he used body padding, props or a stand in for the weight gain.  

Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career! Edgar Ramirez is excellent! Bryce Dallas Howard stuns and holds her own against the explosive McConaughey.

GOLD is twists and turns, unexpected highs and deep lows. What a ride! Excellent!

GOLD opens in theaters everywhere January 27, 2017. A sure winner, thrilling! Four Gold Stars!

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