Directed by: BRECK EISNER
Starring: MATTHEW MCCONNAUGHEY, PENELOPE CRUZ, STEVE ZAHN,
GLYNN TURMAN, DELROY LINDO, WILLIAM H. MACY, LAMBERT
WILSON, RAINN WILSON
Released by: Paramount Pictures,
Bristol Bay Productions
by Breck Eisner, son of Disney chief Michael,
"Sahara" tries so hard but fails to
be the next "Indiana Jones."
Adventure in the Desert
Not Much of a Treasure; Perhaps
a Guilty Pleasure
Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) and his lifelong pal Al
(Steve Zahn) have spent most of their lives hunting down
a Civil War battleship filled with gold. The trek has
taken the pair to West Africa, where wealthy retired Admiral
James Sandecker (William H. Macy) continues to fund their
efforts through his marine salvage unit.
the World Health Organization's Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope
Cruz) is busy tracking a deadly virus in the region. During
her investigation, she discovers that the mysterious plague
is coming out of Mali, and is promptly attacked by several
unknown men. Dirk comes to her rescue, fending off the
assailants and whisking her away to Sandecker’s
expedition yacht. Conveniently, Dirk’s search for
the battleship also leads to Mali. And so begins the adventurous
journey of Dirk, Al and Eva through the perils of the
Sahara as dangerous warlords and evil billionaire industrialist
Massarde (Lambert Wilson) try to thwart their progress
at every turn.
by Breck Eisner, son of Disney chief Michael, "Sahara"
tries so hard but fails to be the next "Indiana Jones."
While Eisner's old-school, swashbuckling-style action
is a mindless, visual treat, everything else drags along
laboriously via painfully-flat dialogue and stale jokes.
Zahn's natural humor injects a bit of energy here and
there, but not enough to compensate for the script’s
numerous pitfalls. Maybe a Civil War battleship buried
somewhere in the Sahara is more believable in Clive Cussler's
book than in this big screen adaptation. Also starring
Glynn Turman as Eva's W.H.O. partner and Delroy Lindo
as a C.I.A. agent, "Sahara's" action may be
a treasure, but the story is fools gold.