Ben Abraham’s review published on Letterboxd:
In my head I’d imagined Gold as a chase thriller, and to my surprise this is more of a horror film than anything else. Gold mostly follows Zac Efron’s character and his descent into insanity in the Australian Outback. As a survival thriller this entirely relies on the performance of Efron, and he doesn’t disappoint, he gives a very physical and emotive performance with much of the film being a solo act. The cinematography captures the backdrop of the story very well, the film is certainly never boring visually. While the survival elements seem basic at first, Efron’s performance and his character’s “illusions” take the drama to another level and the film ultimately builds enough nuance to work as a horror film in the final act.
The main problem with the film is that it tries to balance many different elements and can’t. While individual threads are often compelling, the experimentation into different genres don’t blend well and as such some elements of the film can feel one-dimensional. It’s a film that has many layers to it, but it simply doesn’t work on every level. I also found that the survival story was limited by the films fairly defined character work, the first act is more effective in its establishment of place than of character.
Gold offers thrills, exciting visuals and one of Zac Efron’s most dominant and outstanding performances to date. However by the third act the some aspects of the first act becomes void, the ending leaves a lot of questions up in the air and the story never truly feels like it’s earning it’s feature length.