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"...there's nothing to any of the characters.  They're all one-dimensional.  No dimensional would be a point.  And they don't have a point.  So, they're zero dimensional."










The Masked Reviewer

Some movie titles get used again and again...Sahara is one of them.  There's a version from 1919, 1943, 1958, 1983, 1985, 1991, 2002 and now...the 2005 version!  The Masked Reviewer is only familiar with one of those versions, that being the 1983 version with Brooke Shields, but it's hard to imagine that the 2005 version is a remake of any earlier version,'s just plain weird.

Interestingly, Lambert Wilson starred in the 1983 version and also stars in the 2005 version.  The Masked Reviewer wonders whether it's a good thing or a bad thing to be in more than one movie with the same title.  It could make for an interesting time at Blockbuster.  "No, not that Sahara with Lambert Wilson, the other Sahara with Lambert Wilson!"

The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt.  If ever an adventurer had a good name, it would be Dirk Pitt.  If you have a kid and name it Dirk Pitt, it's either going to be a) an adventurer, b) a porn star, or...nope, those are the only two choices.  Be warned, Brad Pitt!  Choose carefully.

Dirk Pitt's sidekick is Al Giordino, played by Steve Zahn.  You may recognize Steve Zahn from Joy Ride or National Security or Saving Silverman.  He's the comic relief.

Playing the hot babe is Penelope Cruz.  She looks the part.

The retired admiral who employs "the boys" is played by William H. Macy.  Now, William H. Macy is a fine actor, but he doesn't exactly have "salty former military commander" written all over him.  He just doesn't have the tough, powerful, commanding presence that you might expect.  But that might be focusing criticism on the wrong place.

Did you see National Treasure with Nicolas Cage?  Sahara feels a bit like that...there's adventuring, there's excitement, there's treasure hunting.  Sahara is a better movie than National Treasure, solely because it seems to have more fun.  That's not to say that it's a good movie...because it isn't.  The film suffers from a couple of major problems.  The first of which is that there's nothing to any of the characters.  They're all one-dimensional.  No wait...two dimensional would be a dimensional would be a point.  And they don't have a point.  So, they're zero dimensional.

Matthew McConaughey's character is "too perfect".  Former Navy SEAL, treasure hunter.  He's a nice guy, he's smart, he's good looking, he's brave.  He doesn't have any flaws.  His sidekick is also a former Navy SEAL.  He makes wisecracks.  He's also brave.  He doesn't have any flaws either.  Neither does the beautiful doctor from the World Health Organization played by Penelope Cruz.  Everyone is too perfect. 

The plot is ridiculous, but not much more ridiculous than many recent action/adventure films.  There are a few more unbelievable coincidences in this of the genre will see some things coming from a mile away.

What else can be said?  It seems to have an environmental message tacked on that's a bit out of place.  Penelope Cruz is attractive but otherwise entirely uninteresting to watch.  Matthew McConaughey is charming and carries most of the movie, and the chemistry with Steve Zahn is good, but everyone is too's a movie that you can sit and watch but won't make you feel anything.  It's hard to care about characters that are just there.  Show us their dark side, show us that they're human, and maybe we'll care.  Maybe not.

It's less than mediocre, but the Masked Reviewer is giving it a mediocre review because it doesn't take itself too seriously and it is completely unpretentious.  It's a couple of hours of people that wanted to make a popcorn movie.  If you're a fan of the actors, you won't mind it.  You'll certainly not remember it, and it won't keep your attention when it's on cable.  It's not the best way to spend your time.  It's only for the hard core Cruz/McConaughey/Zahn/Lambert fan.


Expectation from the Title: The fascinating story of one of the oldest hotel/casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  The sun sure looks hot.

The Pros: Actors are appealing and have some good chemistry.  One or two funny lines.

The Cons: A whole lot of nothin'.  It's ridiculous, it's not very exciting, and the characters couldn't be less compelling.  It's not a good movie.

Matthew McConnahey, Steve Zan, Penelope Cruise, Saharra, are all here.

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