Movie Review: 'Fool's Gold'

"Fool's Gold" is "Romancing the Stone" without the romance. It is "National Treasure" without the tricky plot twists. This tale about the search for sunken treasure off the coast of Florida is the worst effort in its genre since the 1984 Brooke Shields' TV movie "Wet Gold."

At least that made-for-television film didn't have a lengthy dissertation in the middle that stops the action like a two-ton anchor.

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, the couple from "How to Lose a Man in 10 Days," are reunited. They play Tess and Finn Finnegan, a couple whose adventurous marriage has hit bottom. She has taken a job as a steward on the yacht owned by a mega-millionaire (Donald Sutherland). He's fallen in with bad partners in his quest to find the legendary 18th century Queen's Dowry. There are supposed to be 40 chests filled with gold and jewels that were lost at sea in 1715.

How do we know this? The full story flashes across the screen during the opening scenes. Director Andy Tennant must have assumed that no one who sees his movie can read. He devotes a painfully long sequence to McConaughey explaining every detail of the story.

It is torturous - like sitting through a lecture about the mathematical relevance of black holes in association with the social activities of the fruit fly while having your teeth drilled by an auto mechanic.

When the action finally crawls to a start again, Tess and Finn have convinced the millionaire to back one more attempt to find the gold. Along for the ride is Gemma (Alexis Dziena), the millionaire's daughter, who makes Paris Hilton seem like a Mensa candidate.

The movie plods along with a script that only a director's mother could love. At times Tennant tries to make this a sweet romantic comedy. Then he resorts to acts of violence that jolt the movie in a different direction. Scenes of sexuality play more like the giggling fantasies of a teen than the work of an adult cast and crew.

The movie would be a complete waste if not for the stars, who make a nice couple. And the scenes with them alone are best. Problem is, the convoluted script, herky-jerky direction and long speeches keep getting in the way.

It all keeps "Fool's Gold" from being a treasure.

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