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, because...well...it'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
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
plane...one 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 one...fans 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 perfect...it'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
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.