NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by William.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
The movie opens with text:
“On July 24th, 1715, in celebration of the marriage of King Philip of Spain, the largest treasure fleet in maritime history set sail from Havana, Cuba. The 500 million dollars worth of gold, silver and jewels came to be known as The Queen’s Dowry. Unfortunately, in his eagerness to consummate the marriage, King Philip ordered the fleet to sail at the worst time of year. And so, the great galleons, heavy with their sparkling cargo, sailed straight into a massive hurricane…
… and were never seen again.”
We cut to the opening credits, and focus in on a boat in the ocean close to some islands (the Bahamas). There are two divers at the bottom, and they are vacuuming up sand and debris from the ocean bed (looking for stuff), when the generator/pump starts to malfunction and produces sparks. One of the sparks hits a piece of paper, which leads to a boat fire. Meanwhile, the two divers are underwater arguing about why the vacuum hose isn’t working, just as their boar sinks and drops right behind them without them noticing.
The two divers surface, revealing them to be Ben Finnegan (Mathew McConaughey) and Alfonz (Ewen Bremner). Ben brings up a piece of ancient plate, and claims that it’s what he’s been searching for over the last 8 years. However, they soon discover the fate of their boat, and start arguing over whose fault it is. Two men pull up on their boat and say that Ben owes them money (he borrowed from a mob boss named Bigg Bunny, and promised them payment when he finds the treasure). Since the treasure hunt failed to yield any results, Ben has to face Bigg Bunny who is none too pleased. Ben shows him the plate, which looks like any other plate besides a tiny symbol on the back (a royal crest of King Philip of Spain). Bigg calls for Ben to be shot and tossed overboard at sea. Being asked what his last requests are, he waxes poetic about his wife (soon to be ex), then tries to make a break for it. The two henchmen tie him to an anchor and tosses him over, but Ben grabs one of their guns and shoots one of the henchmen in the leg, and the other in the ear. The henchman with the functional leg runs to the helm and drives the boat away, leaving Ben to drop to the bottom.
Ben, now stuck at the bottom with an anchor chained to his ankle, proceeds to do a funny hop manoeuvre with anchor in hand, so he can reach the gun he dropped, and shoot the chain. He frees himself and swims to the surface.
We then cut to Tess (Kate Hudson) who serves as stewardess on board a wealthy man’s (Nigel Honeycutt Donald Sutherland) yacht. Tess talks to the chefs about her soon to be ex, and how he’s not good at keeping appointments.
Ben is now drifting out in the ocean, and is come upon by some stereotypical drunken Californian teenagers who, toss him a beer, then give him a boat ride to shore.
Back to Tate, who is waiting for Ben at the lawyers; of course he’s still running towards the lawyer’s office on barefoot. Ben’s lawyer is trying to make excuses, while Tess lists all of Ben’s deficiencies, all negative except for the sex (for which she married him for in the first place). Just them, Ben crashes in, trying to apologize/convince/change his way into preventing the divorce. He even promises to go to counselling, but when Tess mentions moving to Boston together, but he is only able to reply with “maybe.” Tess’ lawyer officially announces their divorce, and Ben is visibly broken up about it.
He runs after Tess and tries to convince her of the treasure’s location. Claiming that he knows where it is. She doesn’t believe him, but is enticed. Tess is noticeably torn, as she has spent 8 years of her life, and given up on her phD dream to support Ben in searching for the treasure.
Tess is about to leave, but Ben explains that she really isn’t the type to be locked in a dank old room looking at books as a PhD student. Still not convinced, Tess wants the boat that she paid for to be sold so she can get the money and go back to school, but of course, it’s at the bottom of the ocean. This is the scene in the trailer where she picks up the nine-iron and bats Ben upside the head with it.
Later, on Nigel’s boat, Tess gets curious and looks up some information on King Philip, she sees the symbol that Ben found on the plate, and finally believes him.
Back at a bar, Alfonz and Ben discuss how they could procure a new boat for their search. Alfonz notes that Nigel, a millionaire, has a yacht nearby and may be convinced to let them borrow it.
Nigel speaks to Tess while she’s trying to convince him to cast off on his boat and get out of there, so that Ben cannot try to procure his boat. She believes that Ben has found a clue regarding the treasure, but doesn’t trust him enough to find it.
Cut to Bigg Bunny looking for Ben, just as he walks by. Nigel’s daughter, Gemma (Alexis Dziena) shows up on helicopter. Ben follows the helicopter towards Nigel’s yacht. Ben steals a small boat to approach Nigel’s yacht. Gemma shows up and turns out to be complete airhead.
Nigel’s daughter leaves on a smaller boat to go party, but loses her hat to the wind. Ben runs after it on his stolen boat and retrieves the hat, impressing the heiress, but does not notice the boat coming right at him and is run over. They rush Ben aboard for medical help, and offer him a shower and dinner. Gemma is obviously smitten with Ben.
Back on the islands, Bigg Bunny is hiring another treasure hunter, Moe (Ray Winstone) to find the Queen’s Dowry, presenting him with the plate containing the crest.
On Nigel’s yacht, Tess brings out dinner and upon seeing Ben at the dinner table, completely freaks out, tossing plates and food around (funny scene). Tess and Ben then individually try to convince Nigel to join in on the treasure hunt. Ben and Tess talk about their previous leads and experiences regarding the treasure. They go into a long trail of leads that I don’t recall well enough to recount. Nigel is thoroughly convinced, and so is Gemma. Nigel then asks Gemma’s opinion, as it seems like a chance for him to reconnect with his daughter. Gemma agrees to go on the treasure hunt.
Thus, Ben, Tess, Alfonz, Gemma, Nigel and the crew of the yacht all head towards the speculated location of the treasure. On the way, Gemma and Nigel learn to dive. Upon arrival at that approximate location of the treasure, they prepare to start searching, when Gemma pipes up with a factoid: the island at the location belongs to Biggs Bunny.
Tess begins to freak out, but Ben is able to calm her, and there is a spark of romance. However, Gemma announces that there is another boat out there, and it turns out to be Moe and his crew, also looking for the treasure (while Gemma asks “what are they looking for?”)
So the race begins with everyone on a mad rush to find the treasure, while the people still on board trade verbal barbs. Ben goes under and sees that Moe’s crew is well underway, prepared to drop charges to blow apart the area to find more clues. Ben is under the water doing his own search along Moe’s search grids, while Tess gets Gemma to distract Moe’s crew (skimpy outfit and all), which works for about 5 seconds until she points out that Ben is under Moe’s boat. One of the Moe’s men panics and hits the detonator, setting off an explosive which launches Ben onto Moe’s boat, and an ancient sabre to land on Nigel’s boat, almost impaling Gemma.
Moe is understandably angry with Ben, and clocks him, but let’s him return to Nigel’s boat.
Back on Nigel’s boat, Ben and Alfonz analyze the sabre.
Tess goes to the kitchen to bring dinner, and walks into the chefs as they psychoanalyze Tess and Ben’s relationship (humorous scene).
After dinner, Tess and Ben, in their separate rooms, contemplate their relationship and Tess goes to Ben’s room to try to discuss it, but he’s gone.
Gemma and Nigel are playing a board game, she realizes that Nigel is letting her win and to give her money, and she gets angry. She threatens to ‘cut herself off,’ except for food, clothing, and a bunch of other things.
Back at Bigg Bunny’s place, Ben sneaks in with the saber to speak to Bigg Bunny, but gets knocked out by another one of Biggs men, Cyrus (David Roberts) with a cricket bat. Ben comes to, and pleads to Bigg Bunny to give him more time, but Bigg Bunny wants a cut, and agrees to let Ben live as long as he finds the treasure (implying that he wants all of it), then lets him leave. Back at Nigel’s boat, Tess confronts Ben about his debts to Bigg.
The next day, the entire party dives under to search for the treasure, but with no results. However, this does give more time for everyone on board to work on their relationship issues.
Another day of searching follows, also met with no success.
The party are disheartened and drink at a nearby bar. Tess and Ben get back to theorizing about the whereabouts of the Spanish galleons and treasure. Once again, Gemma’s knack for stating the obvious comes in handy, and notes that it’s a good idea to put the ship near shore when there’s a storm, which is exactly what the captain of the Spanish Galleon did, running the treasure ship ashore to save the treasure instead of miles offshore like they had originally thought. With this new information, Ben and Tess once again dive down to search for the ships and succeed in finding some more clues.
They continue their search the next day, but are only able to find remnants of the ship near and on shore, but no treasure. While they search, they are being watched by Cyrus.
Out of nowhere, Gemma realizes that her father had unconsciously named the ship after her (Gem of somethingorother), while her name is ‘Gemma.’ Gemma believes that her father does care about her, and not just a burden to him…one relationship resolved, one more to go.
Ben and Tess head to the nearest church for clues as it is the closest piece of civilization in the area. After reading some old records, it turns out that the Church was built after the landing of the Spanish Galleon and likely to be the grave site/treasure site. Excited by the possibility that they have found the treasure, Tess jumps Ben, and the two share an intimate moment. Later, outside the church, Ben and Tess begin to search the grounds. While looking, Tess trips on a rock, and when Ben moves it, they see the royal crest underneath. Ben digs and finds a barrel, to which Tess replies “what if it’s a head.” Inside the barrel are assorted trinkets and the memoirs of the last survivor of the Spanish convoy, with more clues to the location of the treasure, which turns of to be a ‘blowhole.’
Just as they realize the location, Bigg Bunny shows up, with henchmen and guns. A scuffle ensues, with Ben and Tess escaping on a mo-ped, but not before Tess nails Biggs in the crotch with a shovel.
The two escapes into the jungle with the moped, but the dense forest growth causes Ben and the moped to crash and fall into a small in-land pond, while Tess is captured by Biggs. Everyone believes Ben to be dead as the moped exploded when it hit the ground.
Biggs forces Tess to take him to the blowhole, and Cyrus manhandles Tess into entering the blowhole during low tide. Tess can’t find anything, so Cyrus decides that she has outlasted her usefulness and tosses the rope in, preventing her escape. However, one of Bigg’s more humane lackeys tosses a mask to Tess before the tide rushes in. As the tide pushes Tess under the rocks, she jars the treasure loose and some of the loot is blown out of the blowhole.
Tess, still alive, stays silent to avoid recapture. Ben, without any choice, calls Moe for help. Moe goes to Nigel’s Yacht and rallies the entire crew, even Nigel to go save Tess. Still at the base of the blowhole, Tess tries to find an exit, while avoiding the divers sent by Bigg to retrieve the treasure. Ben shows up, but is shot at by Biggs. Tess is dragged away by the other divers by a rope, and Ben jumps in to save her. Ben latches onto Cyrus, who is holding Tess and manages to stab him with a small knife, causing Cyrus to drift off and cut up by the rocks as the blowhole unleashes a blast of water (blood everywhere). Using the scuba gear pilfered off Cyrus, Ben and Tess are able to survive under water.
The cavalry (Moe, Alfonz, yacht crew and Nigel) show up and get into a firefight with Biggs. Moe dives in to save the two, leaving the rest to shoot it out with Biggs (with no one able to use a gun except for Nigel). As Tess, Ben and Moe swim up, Tess is captured by Bigg and knocked unconscious.
All seems lost as Bigg is escaping on his plane with Tess and Ben is stranded in the water, but then Gemma catches up with a jet ski, grabs Ben, and chases towards the plane. Ben is able to latch onto one of the plane’s pontoons and begins a climb towards the cockpit. Bigg tries to shoot Ben, but Tess pushes him right out of the plane, however, Bigg gets in a lucky shot before hitting the water, causing the engine to fail.
Ben gets in and tries to land the plane, and does a horrible job, crashing the plane but the two survive. Tess and Ben profess their love for each other, with Ben re-proposing. The next scene shows the two getting re-married, as well as all the treasures discovered exhibited in a museum.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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After finding a new clue to the treasure Benjamin Finnigan (Matthew McConaughey) tries to stop the divorce from his wife Tess (Kate Hudson). Unfortunately he is 50 seconds too late.
In order to get the help to continue looking for the treasure he befriends Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland) and his daughter Gemma (Alexis Dzeina). Just by coincidence Nigel owns the boat that Tess works on as a steward.
They all go searching for the treasure of a sunken ship and it rekindles the romance between Benjamin and Tess. They find the treasure in a blowhole.
The ending is shots of the treasure in a museum. Tess and Benjamin are remarried, wealthy and expecting a child.
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