Éric Besnard, director of Ca$h, brings to the screen another heist movie with 600 Kilos of Pure Gold. This time around, he has a much more exotic setting for his narrative. The plot revolves around a group of five associates who aim to steal the titular cargo from a mining operation deep in the Guyanan jungle.
The setting is the best part of this film. Besnard and his producers clearly had quite a bit of money to splash around. The film boasts some beautifully rich cinematography. Everything is drenched in a golden sheen and the shooting locations certainly drive home the unforgiving nature of the jungle (something from which Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull clearly could have benefitted). The vehicles, the costuming, the sets, the visual effects… all are exemplary.
Such high quality production values can’t distract from the fact that the script is lacking, however. We don’t get a proper introduction to our characters. Well – we get a proper introduction to one of them, the female, who is a late addition to our group of thieves. She used to run a small goldmining operation with her husband before a band of mercenaries attacked the site, leaving her with nothing. This little fact also serves a secondary purpose – to let us know that Canadian Gold, the company that hired the mercenaries, is an Evil Corporation, so it’s all right for our heroes to be stealing their gold. But aside from that, we have nothing. Are these nice people? Do they have altruistic notions, are they greedy or is it a bit of both? How do they know each other? None of these questions are answered.
Christophe Julien’s score is problematic also. It throbs along in a cheesy 70s way, almost as if we’re watching one of the more ridiculous Bond movies. This is completely at odds with the serious tone of the film. That’s not to say the music is bad – it’s great fun – but it would have made more sense to witness some cheesy editing wipes and dissolves, or some sudden zooms and shonky Foley sound effects.
600 Kilos of Pure Gold has its moments, and the quality of the cinematography, excellent locations and admirable production values can’t be denied. It’s just a pity that the script soon has our characters randomly going off the deep end for no explicable reason, as if The Italian Job mutated into Apocalypse Now. It’s a glossy film that fails to live up to its premise.
600 Kilos of Pure Gold is available now on DVD from Madman.Rating:
600 Kilos of Pure Gold is available now on DVD from Madman.