like a girl"
Master explorer Dirk Pitt (McConaughey) has been searching
for a lost Confederate Ship that disappeared at the end of the American
Civil war for years and he finally thinks he might have tracked it down.
The problem is that the trail leads to Mali; a country gripped by its own
civil war and its Warlord leader General Kazim (James) doesn't like any
foreigners crossing his boarders. Now Pitt and his long time friend Al Giordino
(Zahn) have seventy-two hours to sneak into Mali and investigate but a missing
ship isn't all that they will find.
Best selling author Clive Cussler's adventurer Dirk Pitt returns
to the big screen but could this be the start of a new franchise?
Cussler's Dirk Pitt adventures have been best sellers for
decades but after the failure of 'Raise the Titanic' in 1980, the hero has
had to exist on the written page, until now. 'Sahara' is the first of what
Paramount Pictures hope will become their new action adventure franchise,
a modern day 'Indiana Jones' or a much better 'Tomb Raider'. The good news
is that everything is here to make that wish come true.
Even though he might have one of the silliest names in literacy
circles, Dirk Pitt has all the hallmarks of a classic hero. Ex-Navy Seal
and scholar, Pitt works for NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency)
who travel the world, searching the seas for missing treasures that have
been lost in the depths. This adventure sees him chasing a missing Confederate
armoured ship that disappeared at the end of the American Civil War. The
ship has been an obsession of Pitt's for years and finally he has found
a clue that should lead him to its whereabouts. A single Confederate gold
coin found in Mali, could be the piece that finally solves the puzzle.
The film isn't all about finding treasure however; there are
also interwoven stories of African Civil War and a plague that is spreading
through the Mali population. This is what makes the story more watchable
as the three stories combine to make an adventurous plot.
Playing Dirk Pitt is the much-underrated Matthew McConaughey.
Once the golden boy of Hollywood, McConaughey rises to the challenge of
playing a physical and charismatic role with each and the part could easily
propel him into the big leagues again. Steve Zahn plays Steve Zahn again
in this movie, making you wonder if he can play anything else but his character
Al does provide some good comic relief. The beautiful PenÚlope Cruz plays
Eva Rojas, WHO (World Health Organisation) doctor investigating a new plague
that is starting to spread from Mali. This is another high profile role
for the gifted actress and she brings a bit of class to the role.
The support is also good. William H. Macy is as good as ever
as Admiral James Sandecker, bringing some class to the production. Delroy
Lindo makes a return to the big screen in a pivotal role. British actor
Lenny James is good as General Kazim and Lambert Wilson plays the sleazy
businessman with ease.
'Sahara' is a good popcorn movie with slight more plot than
you might be used to from a Hollywood flick. The cast is good and the film
has a real sense of fun as well as adventure, making the escapades of Dirk
Pitt a welcome addition to the action adventure genre.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
sound, the movie is presented extremely well.
The complete lack of any bonus features for a movie of this budget is
appalling. As Paramount want this to be a new action franchise, they should
have pulled out all the stops to make this an extras packed DVD set, that
would have created even more fans for the movie. Instead we have a 'vanilla'
disc that just doesn't do the film justice.
Raiders of the Lost
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