CORPORATE LINE: Master explorer Dirk Pitt ® (Matthew McConaughey) takes on the adventure of his life when he embarks on a treasure hunt through some of the most dangerous regions of West Africa. Searching for what locals call “The Ship of Death”, a long lost Civil War battleship which protects a secret cargo, Pitt and his wisecracking sidekick (Steve Zahn) use their wits and clever heroics to help Doctor Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz) when they realize the ship may be linked to mysterious deaths in the very same area.
THE GOOD: Certainly Sahara a lot of mindless fun. Sahara is close to being a cross between Indiana Jones and the Three Stooges. Steve Zahn is hilarious and is goofy enough to count as two stooges. McConaughey and Zahn make a great team and it would be fun to see them together again.
THE BAD: Sahara is no epic adventure. At least we believe in the Indiana Jones films that Indy is intelligent and might be smart enough and skilled enough to work his way through any problem. Neither Dirk nor goofball sidekick ever make us believers—even though they want us to believe it.
A lot of Sahara’s adventures and discoveries are left up to ridiculous chance and luck that would make winning the lottery look easy. There adventures are fun however too much happens by chance and dumb luck which separates it from the Indiana Jones series.
The commentary by Director Breck Eisner and Actor/Executive Producer Matthew McConaughey is quite interesting. Since McConaughey had more invested in this film than the usual actor he has a lot of insight.
“Across the Sands of Sahara” is a short piece on the film where the cast and crew talk about everyone else as if they were in love. It’s the usual fluff piece.
The deleted scenes would have added nothing and are better left out. Even the commentary adds nothing to these deleted scenes.
FRANKLY: If you are looking for a movie full of mindless entertainment Sahara is a perfect fit and even I was surprised just how enjoyable it was. In my opinion Sahara is better than National Treasure. If Sahara does well we just might see McConaughey and Zahn back on some wild adventures—we can only hope so.
+ Charlie Craine