The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sahara (2005)

Not exactly bad, not exactly good, Sahara, the supposed kick-off for a franchise based on Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt adventures (which this reviewer has admittedly not read) is a bit over two hours of laid-back adventure in the Indiana Jones/James Bond mold. While reaching the heights of neither series, it's probably more re-watchable than Moonraker, and less racist than Temple of Doom, which I suppose is to its credit, if not it's box-office cash. Basically, Matthew McConaughney plays adventurer Pitt, an ex-SEAL who spends most of his time in the desert, and Steve Zahn is his Dr. Watson. Both would seem to be such slackers that you keep expecting it to devolve into Herald and Kumar and the Last Crusade, whipping out a joint to share with Penelope Cruz, whose dark-eyed appeal seems her only reason for being cast. She isn't convincing as a WHO doctor, and is only minimally believable as an action heroine. Ah, well. All in all, it's not offensive, and I enjoyed it. I'd give this tale of lost treasure, savage warlords and mysterious diseases a B-.

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