Kenny Wells (Mathew McConaughey) is a man dedicated to his cause. His father worked in the mining industry, capturing Kenny’s love for the job. Years after his father’s passing, however, the company has hit a low point. Kenny, now sporting a partially baldhead and an intrusive beer-gut, is severely in debt. He needs a way to get cash fast, the solution of which comes to him in a dream one night when resting with his girlfriend, Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard). Pawning what little possessions he has left, Kenny makes his way to the uncharted jungles of Indonesia with a struggling geologist, Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramírez), in search of one little thing… Gold. And would you believe me if I told you they found it?
What follows the first act is an hour of celebrations, booze, business meetings and relationship dramas, featuring much more of McConaughey’s ugly-a-fied body than you’d probably want to see. It’s much more tonally focused, backed up with a soundtrack of classic songs that don’t really need to be there and never last long, always cut short in the most awkward of ways, yet they’re mildly catchy in the moment. Not much of any importance happens during this hour, merely the causalities of becoming rich, but in similar vein to other party biopics like The Wolf Of Wall Street, it’s fun. This isn’t me saying it’s on the same level as Wolf of Wall Street was, as those are two completely different films, but the party sequences feel like distant relatives.
When the third act finally roles around, or more accurately the second half of the third act, it couldn’t get here sooner. The plot, up until that point, had been missing that certain something to make it work. It just needed a little extra, and it finally comes. The film goes from playful, messy fun to a shocking reveal with devastating consequences. Lives are altered, the law gets involved and the story finally becomes fascinating. It’s still a mess, character arcs left unexplained and contradicting earlier actions, and the film ends more times than Lord of the Rings, but it’s this third act that’s easily the most entertaining of the lot.
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