The film unfortunately wastes a golden opportunity to shine.
The success of the “Wolf of Wall Street” appears to have spawned its own sub-genre; smug guys in suits moving large sums of money around. Gold reaches for the heights of Scorsese’s achievement, but falls short due to its fatal flaw. It isn’t very funny.
Whereas “Wolf of Wall Street” felt fresh and unique, Gold is a rather dull affair. The story progresses very statically. The jungles of Indonesia make for a stunning location during the film’s first half, but nothing particularly interesting happens in them.
Matthew McConaughey’s performance is undeniably a great transformation for the actor. He’s gained the weight, and looks suitably greasy but it doesn’t substitute for a great performance. It was hard to believe in the character of Kenny Wells or even care about his story. To me there was no way in to the film, nothing to connect to.
Underneath the surface there is a much better film fighting to break out. That being said, if you’re more inclined towards films about not very nice business people screwing people over for pay cheques, then you can find something to enjoy. I was just expecting a bit more.