New Releases: Gold Dust (2020) - Reviewed

In Gold Dust, two friends, Moses (David Wysocki) and Fink (David Wall), spend their days searching for treasure in the middle of the desert while having “would you rather” discussions and dreaming of what they would do if they ever struck big. 

Moses claims that he would become a famous actor just by using his money to get the best roles or, he says, he’d open an orphanage. Fink, meanwhile, just wants to win over the love of his life from high school, Joy Lynn Fairbanks (Kerry Wall), who never even knew he existed. 

You could say, in other words, that these two men are a couple of sad simpletons. As with many characters like Moses and Fink, the pair have their redeeming qualities, which shine through as the movie progresses into a silly, dumbed down version of No Country For Old Men.

Moses and Fink end up unwittingly involved in a plot involving a drug lord, El Guapo (Garrett Marchbank), who has sent is best assassin (Derek Severson) – a man who prefers to dance to classical music before knocking someone unconscious and eventually killing them – to find his missing money which, as fate would have it, has ended up in the hands of our two heroes. There’s a little girl that needs protecting thrown into the mix, too, and the game of hide and seek in the desert evolves (or devolves) from there. 

Written and directed by Wall, Gold Dust is a harmless, well-intentioned, silly adventure. It is not giving us the best when it comes to comedy, but – and this could be the quarantine talking – I did not hate this movie when watching it. Marchbank’s performance as El Guapo is probably offensive, and yet I found myself chuckling at his interactions with his assassin (known only as “Dancing Killer”), who just wants to do his job and kill people but must show restraint. 
There is nothing original about the story and the acting pushes absurdity at times, but as I continued watching, the more I found myself giving the movie the benefit of the doubt. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, except when it comes to the friendship between Moses and Fink. 

Serving as writer, director and star of the film, Wall has a Robert Redford-esque look and charm, and he’s clearly committed to making the audience care about these characters. It may have worked on me – or maybe it just served as a welcome distraction given what is happening in the world right now. Whatever the reason, I didn’t hate Gold Dust and found an unexpected charm in Moses and Fink. 

Like its characters, Gold Dust may not be perfect but a glimmer of humanity shines through.

--Matt Giles