From Castaway and Moon to Buried and Gravity, films relying heavily on their lead actor in the film are few and far between. The reason for this is simple, it’s hard for an actor to be the only focus. Especially if they aren’t used to completely running the show. Zac Efron probably never even comes to mind when thinking of actors who could pull it off. But in his latest film, Gold, he does a pretty good job of it.
Sometime in the near future the landscape of the Earth has changed drastically. Harsh, desert conditions cover the planet, and jobs, resources and hope are hard to find. A lone drifter (Zan Efron) decides to take the government up on their offer of employment, but there is a catch; he needs to make it to them first. He hires a driver (Anthony Hayes) to take him there for a lofty fee. And along the way they stumble upon the biggest gold nugget ever found. Unfortunately, they are unable to dig it up, but the driver has a plan. He knows where he can get ahold of excavation equipment to help them. And he leaves the drifter behind to guard their treasure while he goes to collect it. Things aren’t easy for the drifter however, as he has to endure the harsh climate, wild animals and other desperate humans.
Whatever you do, don’t go into this film with the preconceived notion that this will be a typical Zac Efron movie. He doesn’t play the muscle-bound pretty boy with a sharp wit that women swoon over like he does in most films. In fact he’s hardly recognizable beneath the grubby exterior of his character. This may just be the best bit of acting he’s ever done, and hopefully it launches his career in a different direction. The film itself is a bit of a slow burn, but films of this nature typically are. They need time to reel you in. To define the character well enough that you care what happens to them. Thankfully they don’t draw it out into a lengthy movie. The desert landscape is daunting as well, the film pairing it well with the greed and emptiness of the characters.
Overall, Gold is an entertaining film that will have you wondering how much you would be willing to endure. What you can do in order to secure yourself a fortune that would raise you up above the rest of the people in the world. Would you be fine with a small amount, or would you want it all? And is it worth risking your life over?