SAHARA (Breck Eisner, 2005)
Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, and Penélope Cruz set out on an unlikely adventure in SAHARA. As Dirk Pitt, McConaughey hunts for a Civil War battleship that legend causes him to believe is somewhere in Africa. Along with Zahn as his fortune-hunting partner Al and Cruz as a UN doctor investigating a possible epidemic, Dirk follows clues that could lead him to the end of his longtime quest and definitely lead him into trouble.
Like NATIONAL TREASURE, SAHARA borrows liberally from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and THE DA VINCI CODE for its improbable narrative. While utterly ridiculous, it coasts on the easygoing appeal of stars having fun in a silly action picture. SAHARA’S laid-back nature can only work for so long, though. A rehash of better films, most of SAHARA fails to linger in the memory aside from the creative reconfiguring of an airplane body into a wind-aided vehicle. It’s the kind of movie you forget upon leaving the theater. There are worse ways to kill a couple hours, but there are plenty of superior options too.
(Review first aired on the April 12, 2005 NOW PLAYING)