Saturday, April 09, 2005

Sahara review

I had ZERO faith in Sahara. None whatsoever.
The trailers were tepid. The posters and ads were utter shite.
Man, I'm glad to be wrong.
Sahara is loads of fun. Oodles, even. I've never read a word of a Clive Cussler novel (as I said to a bartender this weekend, I'm woefully under-read on pop authors), but damn, this is a good yarn and a fun time in the theater.
The main reason for the success of the movie has very little to do with the story itself -- it the charisma, charm and chemistry of Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn. The two of them just ooze the easy-going charm necessary to draw viewers into this advernture tale, and work so well off each other, you'd believe they (like their characters) have known each other since kindergarten.

Dirk Pitt is an ex-Navy SEAL and an underwater explorer/treasure hunter. He's had a lifelong obsession with a tale about a lost Civil War-era ironclad that disappeared with a load of Confederate gold, but nothing's ever come from it, except his best friend Al Giordano (Steve Zahn) and his boss, Admiral Sandecker (William H Macy, just OOZING coolness) making fun of his ass. While on a archaeological dive off the coast of Africa, Pitt is offered the final piece in the puzzle to his missing ship -- the fifth of five proof coins of Confederate gold dollars that were never minted, said to be in possession of the captain of the Texas, the very ship that Dirk's spent his life looking for.
Penelope Cruz is around, too, as some World Health Organization doctor who's looking into a plague in the African country of Mali, but thankfully the Antichrist's son (the movie was directed by Michael Eisner's son Breck) gives her little or nothing to do. Why? Because she has all the talent of a mud pie. And less charm, too. She's there to look sorta good, if you call her google eyes and bulbous nose good looking. They leave all that heavy "acting" to the pros, thank the gods.
Anyway, back to the movie. Lambert Wilson is around as Belloq, I mean Frenchy McFrenchypants (or whatever the hell his character's name is). At least he keeps his mouth shut about causality. He's one of the bad guys and he' and stuff.
The other bad guy is Lennie James as some General Kazim. He's also evil and stuff.
So, there's a plague that turns out to be something else that's gonna destroy the whole world, and Pitt and Giordano and the Nontalented Woman have to stop it. Oh, and Rainn Wilson (Six Feet Under), too. He rules. He steals pretty much every scene he's in...even when he's with Zahn and McConaughey.

Lemme see...what else is there to say? It's fun. McConaughey and Zahn are great. Macy's cool. Rainn Wilson rules the world. They keep Penelope Cruz out of as much of the movie as humanly possible... Well, that's pretty much it. It's light, it's ferociously paced, and it's perfect summer fare. I likey lots.

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