Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

‘Fool’s Gold’ ready to bore audiences

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Vince Valitutti⁄Warner Bros. Pictures
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson star in the romantic comedy-adventure film, ‘Fool’s Gold.’
If you’re in the mood for a boring, by-the-numbers, romantic comedy⁄adventure film, ‘‘Fool’s Gold” is for you.

Those seeking actual entertainment in their films — outside of Matthew McConaughey constantly taking off his shirt — might be better served looking elsewhere.

McConaughey (‘‘We Are Marshall”) teams up with his ‘‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” co-star Kate Hudson, who has yet to have a defining role to place her in Reese Witherspoon territory. This won’t be it.

The pair star as Finn and Tess, a couple on the verge of having their divorce finalized because Finn’s too busy searching for buried treasure. Tess is making ends meet serving as the steward for the wealthy Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland, ‘‘Italian Job”) who himself is hoping to work on his relationship with his young ditzy daughter Gemma (Alexis Dziena.)

Screenwriters John Claflin, Daniel Zelman and Andy Tennant are content to have McConaughey play the bumbling idiot and Hudson the shrill, put-upon wife⁄ex-wife tired of her husband’s get-rich quick schemes. Their early scenes together are the kind of slapstick you’ll find on any CBS sitcom.

After yet another mishap — where Tennant, who also is the director, tries to get some cheap laughs by having a freak accident result in Finn’s boat exploding — Finn finds an artifact that might be the key to finding the treasure he’s sought after for so long.

Only problem is it’s just outside the island owned by rapper Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart, ‘‘Soul Plane”), whom Finn already owes a ton of money.

Finn hooks up with Nigel and Gemma and convinces Tess that he can find the treasure this time and the unlikely alliance sets them off on their quest.

But the thing is there’s no real adventure as the bad guys are laughable (not in a good way), there’s no real sense of racing against time or no real romance as Finn and Tess act like every other couple in the midst of an argument.

At the very least, the film’s locations in the Bahamas and Australia are gorgeous and the perfect antidote for dreary winter weather.

It’s never so bad that you’ll actively hate it, but it’s just so boring that you’ll never care about it or the characters. Is there ever any doubt that Finn and Tess will get back together or that they won’t find the buried treasure? Just once, I’d love to see one of these adventure quest movies where the heroes don’t find the treasure.

Hudson and McConaughey have great chemistry and with their perfectly bronzed complexions and flowing hair, they certainly have the look of an ideal big screen couple, but they can only do so much with the material.

Buried deep under a sea of lame jokes and goofy mishaps seems to lie a pretty decent movie where relationships are just as big a focus as the madcap adventure.

The one good aspect of these kind of comedies is that you can easily find the two or three people who actually enjoy it as they’ll be the ones laughing in the comedic vacuum known as the theater playing it. Finding people who love this movie is going to be rarer than any buried treasure.

Rating: two stars

Fool’s Gold

Rated PG-13; Adventure;110 minutes

Director: Andy Tennant

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, Alexis Dziena, Kevin Hart Ray Winstone, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Ewen Bremner, David Roberts and Brian Hooks