“Sahara:” Too hot to handle

Daniel Davis


Matthew McConaughey,

Steve Zahn, Penelope Cruz

Rated: PG – 13 (violence)

Running Time: 2 hours 7 min.

Just what I wanted: an upgrade to “National Treasure.” Yes, “Sahara” is basically the improved version of last year’s release, “National Treasure,” featuring Nicolas Cage. Better actors, an improved plot and absolutely breathtaking graphics are the reason you will find yourself at a “Sahara” viewing instead of its counterpart “National Treasure.”

Steve Zahn’s comic relief dominates the performance of Justin Bartha, and the storyline and non-Disney endorsed action makes this worth an easy “must-see” in comparison to similar movies.

But how does it rate amongst other movies? Well, are you into the whole, guy goes for girl, saves girl, helps girl save world, has funny sidekick, blasé and banal plot that occurs in pretty much half of the action movies nowadays?

I am being polite when I say this movie is predictable, because you can see every direction and twist and turn that McConaughey decides to take his adventure.

According to McConaughey, he hopes to make Dirk Pitt, master explorer, a franchise character. Well, of course people will go to see it, there’s nothing better out there right now (at least in the mainstream, there are a lot of good independent films).

Nonetheless, we find ourselves captivated by a “conservatively-clothed” Dirk Pitt wet from the ocean waters.

As the intro plays through, we learn the history of the war that took place and a ship that sunk and the treasure Dirk will be chasing throughout the movie, a treasure located somewhere off the coast of North Africa.

Soon thereafter, we learn about Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz) and her quest to help everyone in Africa. Her goal is to help cure the diseases found throughout the country, but she can only do so much. She soon discovers knowledge about a new disease plaguing the countryside which she will stop at nothing to alleviate.

In her travels, she encounters trouble with mysterious men who are promoting the disease. Is this possible? Of course, it’s a movie. So, money-hungry men are trying to plague the country, and the doctor tries to stop them, and in comes McConaughey (with what clothes he has on) to rescue her. Yay! He saves her!

Eventually, their adventures tie-in, and they find themselves working together to find treasure located in the same spot where the plague originates. What a coincidence. Such a clever plot…

So we find ourselves with the typical, 1990s – 2000s plot, where everything ties in comfortably and no one asks questions. This is definitely of the action/adventure genre and for anyone who enjoys a nice explosion here and there with a small plot, little humor and even more adventure.

If this is your bag of chips, go for it, but if you are interested in something a little more than eye pleasing and lazy, save your $7.50 to buy a book.