FOOL'S GOLD Directed by Andy Tennant. 110 minutes. Opens Friday (February 8). Rating: NN
Aquaphobes, beware – a lot of people spend a lot of time at the bottom of the sea in Fool's Gold. Too bad the caper/adventure pic doesn't hold water.
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, both half-dressed most of the time, try to find the chemistry that made How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days a hit five years ago. They play just-divorced couple Finn and Tess.
He's a treasure hunter, she's a historian who also has an itch for Spanish booty and still for Finn himself.
He's hot on the trail of the 18th-century Spanish ship Aurelia, wrecked somewhere in the Caribbean. But so are baddie ex-rapper Big Bunny (Kevin Hart) and his Jamaican stoner thugs, roles that carry more than a whiff of cringeworthy racist stereotypes.
The guilty pleasure here is Donald Sutherland as the poor old rich guy with the boat. He's been doing awesome work in real schlock lately (see also TV's Dirty Sexy Money), and here, with his ridiculously plummy English accent and hangdog look, he's terrific.
But he can't salvage a silly script. Not that we're expecting poetry or a credible scenario – Finn's various escapes are ludicrous, and that's fine.
But this rom-com wants to be the new millennium's Romancing The Stone and fails. Star Hudson isn't as sexy as Kathleen Turner, and without the smarts and feminist subtext, Fool's Gold is just all wet.