Slim pickings

A down-on-his-luck Reno prospector (Matthew McConaughey) literally dreams that he will find gold in the dense jungles of Indonesia, and teams up with a smart geologist (Edgar Ramirez) to go look for it. After great effort (malaria, politics, etc), they find the glittery metal, but the hard part is keeping it, as they then must navigate a corporate jungle filled with greedy bankers and hostile takeovers. The “real events” that “inspired” this entirely made-up story took place in Canada in the 90s (the Bre-X scandal). Though McConaughey’s performance alone is (almost) worth the price of admission, the rest of Stephen Gaghan’s (Syriana) film is narratively muddy and wildly uneven. I’m not sure what it’s trying to say. Are we supposed to applaud this guy or condemn him? Meager payoff at best. (120 min)