An adventure-romance-comedy about a just-divorced couple who join forces in pursuit of sunken treasure reunited Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Despite the considerable — and well-displayed — charms of its stars, there is not enough adventure, romance, or comedy to make it work.
Tess (Hudson) has just divorced Finn (McConaughey), mostly for being hopelessly unreliable. Or, as someone says to her, not without some sympathy, “You married a guy for the sex and then expected him to be smart.” She is working as a steward on a yacht owned by the fabulously wealthy Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland). When Finn shows up with a story about a lost Spanish ship carrying gold and jewels, Nigel thinks it might keep his celebutante daughter Gemma (Alexis Dziena) on his boat and out of the tabloids to see if they can find it.
But Finn is in trouble with just about everyone, including a rap star/gangsta who wants him killed — and who owns the island closest to the area they will be searching, and with his former mentor, Moe (Ray Winstone). They are also after the treasure, and if finding it gives them an opportunity to kill Finn, well, that’s a side benefit.
It’s all very high-spirited, and Hudson and McConaughey have real chemistry and look great dressed — or rather undressed — for diving. Even by the standards of his, um, body of work, McConaughey goes, um, overboard in finding ways to stay shirtless for the vast majority of the movie. But writer-director Andy Tennant (Hitch, Ever After – A Cinderella Story) has no gift for action scenes, letting the camera linger so long that it slows down the pace. We never work up much of an interest in the bad guys (except to note that the guy under the big bunch of dreds is former Theo Huxtable Malcolm-Jamal Warner) or in whether Nigel and his dim party girl of a daughter will ever find a way to communicate with one another. It has a glossy surface but even by the standards of lightweight entertainment, too little substance. Like its namesake, this one is all glitter.
Parents should know that this movie has a lot of mature material for a PG-13, including brief shots of bare breasts and a tush, strong language, and sexual references and situations. Characters are in peril and violence includes hitting, beating, and shooting, with characters injured and killed. A strength of the movie is the positive portrayal of gay characters, but the African-American characters are gangsta stereotypes.
Families who see this movie might want to find out more about real-life sunken treasure and the people who search for it.
Families who enjoy this film will also enjoy Foul Play, starring Hudson’s mother, Goldie Hawn, and also Romancing the Stone and National Treasure.