by Tony Medley
Runtime 120 minutes
OK for children
When a film starts
with the statement that the film is “inspired by true events” I normally
take what I then view with a grain of salt. However the fictionalization
of what actually happened is so well done by writers Patrick
and John Zinman and director Stephen Gaghan that is not only
appropriate, but necessary to make this story cinematic and as
compelling as it is.
highlighted by an over-the-top performance by Oscar®-winner Matthew
McConaughey and equally good performances by Edgar Ramirez and Bryce
Dallas Howard (Ron’s daughter), bolstered by a terrific supporting cast.
Wells (McConaughey) is a peripatetic prospector for gold, who has
inherited his profession from his prospector father. He will do anything
and go to any lengths to find a great gold strike. He eventually teams
up with Mike Acosta (Ramirez), a renowned geologist, and they set out to
find a gold strike in the jungles of Indonesia. What follows is in line
with what actually happened, although the people involved were not named
Wells and Acosta, and the prime mover was not an American.
McConaughey got involved even before the director was chosen because he
had read the script that were similar with two personal experiences with
which he identified. One was his father going to some character named
Chicago John from whom he bought a $24,000 titanium Rolex watch for
$4000, and the Kenny Wells character reminded him of Chicago John. Also,
his father had invested in a diamond mine in the jungles of Ecuador, not
unlike the jungles of Indonesia where Kenny Wells creates his mine.
McConaughey was in, even before director Gaghan. Watching McConaughey
emote throughout this film, it’s easy to see how committed he was to the
project, because he gives a remarkable performance in addition to
changing his physical appearance.
cinematography of the time in the jungle is beautiful. Good story, good