Some films are so bold, innovative, and aesthetically revolutionary that they seem to single-handedly reinvent cinema. And then there's the new Matthew McConaughey comedy Fool's Gold, which is the kind of thing people watch because it's the in-flight movie, and two hours of McConaughey and Kate Hudson romping about in skimpy clothing on the open sea beats contemplating the intricacies of the SkyMall catalog.
McConaughey's one-man war on the tyranny of shirts continues with his latest vehicle, a featherweight romantic comedy/light-action hybrid so slight and doggedly inconsequential that a stiff breeze would blow it into another time zone. In a role that lets him play both his trademark drawling slacker bum and a dashing man of action, McConaughey stars as an irresponsible treasure hunter who inadvertently winds up in the same boat with estranged wife Kate Hudson, an ambitious academic driven to distraction by her soon-to-be-ex-husband's carefree ways and brazen sexuality. In a delightfully unnecessary move, Fool's God repeatedly establishes McConaughey's almost supernatural sexual prowess; otherwise, filmgoers would undoubtedly find him repulsive. Can McConaughey and Hudson put their differences aside long enough to find buried treasure? Or will sinister rap mogul Kevin Hart and his henchman permanently end their chance for reconciliation?
Though it outstays its welcome by a good 20 minutes, Hitch director Andy Tennant keeps his extravagantly stupid new comedy breezing along affably on the strength of photogenic locales, obscenely beautiful stars, a laid-back soundtrack, and a wholesale unwillingness to take itself the least bit seriously, even when McConaughey stares down certain death with a wink and a smile. A trifle guaranteed not to be on anyone's lips when next year's Oscar nominations are announced, Fool's Gold is a disposable beach paperback of a movie, easy to digest and even easier to forget.