The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
John Lee Hancock
John Carroll Lynch
In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.
When Kenny Wells arrives in Jakarta, the long shot of Jakarta busy road is clearly contemporary. The taxis are all blue, the color of the popular Blue Bird Taxi brand in Jakarta. Yet the next shot, when he gets to his hotel, the taxis are suddenly all yellow and the car model is much older. See more »
The guy who invented the hamburger was smart. But the guy who invented the cheeseburger... Genius.
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Gives us little to reason to care until the second act
The problem with "Gold" is that it takes you into an esoteric world (in this case, let's call it "large-scale multi-national gold mining?") without making us care about the intricacies of the topic. Instead, it follows the template laid out in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" (and that Martin Scorsese bludgeoned to death in "Wolf of Wall Street") of showering the viewer in capitalism porn: Shots of people getting rowdier as visual cues (i.e. graphs going upwards, the stock exchange ringing) show them getting richer and richer. This is a shame because Stephen Gaghan masterfully wove story threads in an Altmanesque manner to tell the story of the global oil crisis.
Perhaps my expectations were high here, but without that effort to make the economics of an economics film engaging ("Big Short" is a better example of this), there's little reason to care about this story. It's just some schlub who looks an awful lot like Christian Bale's character in "American Hustle" (another better film with which this one shares suspicious stylistic similarities) who hits a lucky streak and experiences good things.
In the second half, some twists emerge, including one big blind-siding whopper that is very likely what catapulted the real life story out of obscurity and led to the existence of this film, but by then it's too little too late and there's not really any foreshadowing that makes the big reveal interesting. What's even more frustrating is that what could have made the film palatable was right there in the script. The story is framed around a mysterious interview that McConaughey's character has with either his lawyer or the FBI but this narrative device is employed extremely half-heartedly.
Despite the film's grandiose ambitions, the film is only memorable in the end for a smattering of striking images that don't lead up to more than the sum of their parts: The "Apocalypse Now" allusion of a man coming to terms with his demons in the Southeast Asian jungle, the contrast between the sweetness of Bryce Dallas Howard and the raw ugliness of McConaughey (I'm presuming he gained weight for this part), and the odd homoerotic gaze with which McConaughey shows to Edgar Ramirez's character.
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