Movie Mind Says: Wait for Cable (or not at all)
If You Like This You Should Watch: Sahara, Without a Paddle
Better Than: Very few movies ever created
Worse Than: Weekend at Bernie’s II, National Treasure
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland
I want my money back. No…I want my life back. I lost a very precious near-two hours of my life trudging through this slop. I should have just assumed it would be this bad, although it’s hard to assume anything could be this bad. In what amounted to a “Matthew McConaughey takes his shirt off for two-hours” flick, also known as Sahara-on-a-boat, this stink-bomb is devoid of any single redeeming quality and I am now dumber for having watched it. May God have mercy on my soul.
It’s hard to decide where to start when something this poor actually hits the big screen. I wanted to declare that the last shred of dignity in Hollywood has been lost, but we all know that happened a long time ago.
The long-haired McConaughey plays Ben Finnegan who – get this – is a slacker adult not willing to grow out of his 15-year-old mind. What a stretch! He has devoted his life to finding some 300-year-old sunken treasure and at the same time alienating his still attached wife, Tess (Kate Hudson). In the film, they get divorced because she says he refuses to grow up, but yet she can’t seem to rid herself of the strong feelings for him. I say they deserve each other. Whether in real life or movie-land, these two caricatures disgust me to no end. I can’t tell what’s worse with McConaughey: when he is just being his annoying, Podunk, Texas-twang rubber-faced self, or when he actually makes a pathetic attempt at acting as something else. Look, when you rip on McConaughey most women will say you are just jealous. I’ll admit he’s a good looking dude who has the type of six-pack a grown man should just not have unless you are a professional boxer. But I still think he is a hack who has not been decent in a movie since Dazed and Confused where he played…you got it, a slacker. It’s as if Keanu Reaves was reincarnated with a better body. If studios keep hiring this guy because of his bod then they should just film him standing still with no shirt on instead of packaging it as an actual movie. That way I can officially avoid ever seeing it.
The lack of acting talent was only the tip of the iceberg in this film. The entire premise is based on finding this hidden treasure in which the background can be called convoluted at best. Aside from the five-minute long diatribe that felt like a high school history lesson, we had no idea what the treasure is or why they want to find it. Excuse me if I missed the crux of the plot by falling asleep at the most boring sequence of the film. So with actors we don’t care about and a treasure we don’t know about, what else could possibly be worse? Try bad guys that are about as racist stereotypes as you can get away with on film and some just plain creepy scenes.
For some reason there is a rap mogul who owns the island which the treasure is buried. But he’s not just a rapper…he’s a murderer-rapper with a group of murdering thugs for a posse. In what is supposed to amount to a lighthearted treasure film, it’s usually not a good idea to have a guy’s ear shot-off and a bad-guy who is more of a bad stereotype than a cartoonish depiction. Then of course came the “money shot” when the director for some reason decided to close up on a spread-eagle teenage girl in a bathing suit for what felt like an uncomfortable eternity.
I expect more from Donald Sutherland and can’t believe he would stoop this low and be associated with this garbage. As for all the other actors, well, this is exactly what I would expect from them. I can’t believe this did not go straight-to-DVD and even managed to get some marketing buzz behind its release. If there is any hope for those struggling filmmakers out there, it’s that crap like this still makes the big screen.
Interesting Cameo Appearance: Malcolm-Jamal Warner (aka Theo Huxtable from The Cosby Show and since then a variety of ABC after-school specials) as Cordell, a goon for rapper/thug Bigg Bunny.
Tess Finnegan: We’re flying! How do you know how to do this?
Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan: Playstation!
Tess Finnegan: Oh god.
Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan: If we don’t go after that treasure, it’s going to haunt us for the rest of our lives and you know it. You really think I’d lie about something like this?
Tess Finnegan: Why not? You’re a liar.
Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan: This is such an inappropriate time to dwell on that!
Tess’ Attorney: Florida didn’t ruin your life, you did. You married the guy for sex, then expected him to be smart.
Ben ‘Finn’ Finnegan: Hey, boats sink! No one knows why!