DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Film Review: Sahara

"ooh - check our matching trousers"

Sahara (12a)
Dir. Breck Eisner

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Adventure has a new name… Unfortunately it’s just not quite as good as the old one it had and for my money - Indiana Jones would kick Dirk Pitt’s butt any day of the week!! Sahara you see suffers from a bad case of “trying to keep up with the Jones’” but if it’s a mind numbing blast of daring do and swashbuckling adventure you’re looking for – then you could probably do worse than take in some of this sandy action. Based ever so loosely on one of Clive Cussler’s popular novels (of which there are many more just waiting their turn to be sequels should this one make enough cash), Sahara tries really hard to entertain and occasionally succeeds.

Matthew McConaughey is the Dirk in question and he struts his manly stuff as one of the most preposterous action hero wannabe’s for some time. Fortunately he’s not alone as he has trusty sidekick Steve ‘National Security’ Zahn on hand to deliver the necessary funnies and take the pratt falls. Penélope Cruz tries and fails to do anything other than look cute and completely unbelievable as the World Health Organisation representative on the trail of a deadly plague. The plot throws the principle characters together in Africa where Dirk is searching for lost treasure aboard a fabled lost ‘ship of death’ which may or may not have something to do with the growing number of people going down with the plague. The baddies of the piece are Lambert ‘Merovingian from the Matrix’ Wilson and Lennie ‘Snatch’ James as an unscrupulous businessman and a paranoid African warlord. Neither is nasty enough to warrant too much attention and there is very little doubt at any point that good will win the day…

McConaughey of course doesn’t waste any opportunity to take his shirt off and pull some ‘ooh look at my muscles’ poses – which I guess will please those who like muscular chaps with unnervingly white teeth.
For me though Sahara was a near miss, not as much fun as Pirates of the Caribbean and not packing enough of a punch to come near to the Indy films. This is an action adventure for those who don’t want to be troubled by too much action or adventure.
So, watch it at your peril, you’ll be picking the sand out of your under garments for weeks to come…

Darkmatt Rating: ö ö (undemanding)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Sadly the cinema as twice now failed to turn Dirk Pitt into the adventure hero he is on the page... (at least that I remember from reading the books in my teens)

In the books he'd kick Indy and Bond into touch... more sophisticated, more action, more archeology, more fx required, more villans....

Had they done it right in the 1970 when it was first tried we'd never even know the name of Indy methinks.... seems no-one will put sufficient funds behind these. The first attempt was dire, this one is better but not good enough.