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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Gold 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


2022's Gold is quite the departure for one Zac Efron. You'll see. As a drifter named Virgil in Australia's Outback, Efron gives a truly transformative performance. He's weathered, he breathes heavily, and he doesn't even look like well, Zac Efron. It's almost like the guy is channeling his inner Jared Leto.  

Gold is um, about gold. You know, that chemical element that's worth a lot of moolah. Efron's Virgil (or "man one") finds it in the middle of nowhere and must protect it until his buddy comes back with an excavator. We're talking a few days with Virgil trying to survive via almost no livable resources. 

Shot in the Land Down Under with eight distributors attached, Gold as a movie is a slow burn but not as slow as one might think. Director Anthony Hayes (normally an actor) gives Gold a bleached-out look with lucid tones and flattened wide shots. I suppose the flick is post-apocalyptic and "Mad Max"-ish but it could go the other way. Ultimately it kinda reminded me of 2002's Gerry but with a little more down and dirtiness. 

Now is Gold effectively atmospheric as a thriller? I mean it has to be with those white, sandy and salty hues. Does Gold have a point in its plotting of relentless hold out? I suppose the point would be greed and possibly nothing else. And is Gold the type of film that has you scratching your head at the end trying to figure out what all the fuss is about? I didn't want to believe it but yeah. 

Gold's main attribute is really its one-man show of abrabed acting by Zac Efron. He's one aloof bloke. After 97 minutes his character is so brittle-looking he could disintegrate with the poke of a stick (or "struck" with a stick if you are into puns and I am). Rolled out "gold". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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