Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn and Penelope Cruz
Directed by: Breck Eisner
speaking? Sahara is an Arabic word meaning "arid desert plain"
and an English word meaning, "bloated Hollywood bore." Sahara
is based on the Clive Cussler adventure book - and lets face it liberties can
be taken in worlds in print that dont always translate onto film; Sahara
is a big expensive case and point.
Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) and his life-long friend Al (Steve
Zahn) are Navy Sealed trained world-surfin' classic rock diggin' treasure hunters
extraordinaires. They work for retired Admiral Sandecker (William H. Macy) and
The National Underwater and Marine Agency.
petit fours at a snobby soiree for the teams latest recovered sunken treasure,
Dirk meets in the shadows with a "connection." This chap brings him
a rare minted coin. A coin, which could only have come from a lost Cival War ironclad
battlership. And this jalopy apparently made it across the Atlantic, and up the
Nile, only to sink in the Sahara's cruel sands
stick with me
Dirk rallies with Al, and off they set to find the legendary "Ship of Death"
- which (of course) has eluded Dirk for decades, and made him a bit maniacal about
its reality. He knows it does exist, and it did make this bizarre trip - the gold
coin confirms his beliefs.
in a completely other film - they've connected to this, probably for the "chickbabe"
factor - the World Health Organization's Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz) has discovered
a mysterious plague rapidly striking down villagers. But, oddly, no one will listen
to her! (<- Dududummmm insert a crescendo of that, "The Maid in the Library
with the Candlestick" style music here for mental audio enhancement).
there's a twist to the terrible trouble. Seems a money hungry solar power guy
is in cahoots with a military power hungry guy. They are trying to bring an efficient
energy to the land (I think), but their plan seems to have produced vats and vats
of (hilariously Scooby-Doo styled) toxic drums! And you can bet dollars to donuts
there within lay the secret to the nasty plague that is filling the water wells
of Africa with death, and heading...downstream.
as all this brouhaha of mass-murder via toxic waste, and off-to-meet-the-treasure
nonsense is about to "unfold," Dirk meets up with the beautiful Dr.
Eva - just as she's about to be decapitated for knowing-to-much about the toxic
to-do. Next thing ya know, she's hitching a ride with Dirk and crew up river.
twenty fantastical (yet still dull) stunts that would make MacGyver raise an eyebrow,
and incongruent plot droppings, later even the most indulgent of adventure-epic-action
viewers are kept awake simply by the sheer volume of the Dolby system. I did notice
NO ONE BROUGHT A WATER BOTTLE - of any kind - ever - anywhere in this film
Seal training indeed.
I digress. Eventually the two weak stories collide and we are thrown all kinds
of information to sort and fuse together.
what you need to ask yourself is do I need to see Matthew McConaughey and his
pristine twelve pack abs bouncing about the widescreen, clad in form-fitting Combat
Rock Banana Republic khaki wear? Probably - yeah. Viewing him within this
mess, is not unlike that perfectly pungent garlic laden babaganoush beckoning
to you from the local village vender's cart - you know the indulgent treat
will ultimately leave you with the breath of a thousand camel asses but how -how-
can you resist?
for the babe-lovin' sorts, ask yourselves is Penelope Cruz's occasional bare belly
shots, and continual pouty modele face, worth the schlepping? Here Pen's tough
it-girl eye-candy. See Don't Move if you want to actually see Penelope
Zahn shows up again as the wacky silly, secretly apt, buffoon Al - same old song
and dance. And, I prefer to pretend I did not see Mr. Macy upon this screen. It's
Rainn Wilson who is genuinely funny, in an otherwise flat wasteland of one-liners
and obvious guffaws.
other positive note within the poodlepoop? The impeccable production design by
Allen Cameron (toxic waste drums aside). Other than that, Sahara is a shameful
anti-exciting menagerie of loosely stitched (like burlap stitched with cheap yarn
loose) ideas that climax in a laugh-out-loud stupid finale.
recommendation: Bottled water you sip while buying National
Treasure via our Amazon link:)