What I am going to say first is probably something that Clive Cussler fans aren’t going to appreciate but I think the man’s books are pretty much trash and it is for only one reason and this movie couldn’t have lived up to my expectations any more than it did.
The iconic character in Cussler’s novels that readers worldwide have come to know is Dirk Pitt, the adventure seeking NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) employee that always has something he is after and most likely has a lot of trouble to go through to get it. Unfortunately, unlike Indiana Jones the twists and turns the Pitt stories seem to take are always so boring and predictable that they are downright stupid.
In Sahara Pitt is played by the charismatic Matthew McConaughey who could not have been a better choice and while I enjoyed McConaughey’s performance as well as I enjoyed the performance of his cohort Al Giordino played by Steve Zahn the story is where this film loses its luster.
The two are headed to North Africa on a quest to find a lost battleship, The Texas, but once there they soon find that they will have more than just the desert to compete with. From having to decipher just what Penelope Cruz is saying as Dr. Eva Rojas to the bad men polluting the environment and killing thousands of people Pitt and Giordino have their hands full.
Sahara gets lost in the fact that it tries to carry on two storylines that could not have been further apart and, I am sorry, but Cruz just cannot act her way out of a paper bag when it comes to English speaking roles. She is amazing in anything with subtitles as her beauty and elegance are completely lost when she is trying to mash her way through the English language, look sexy and pass herself of as a U.N. medical investigator and neurologist. Sorry, it just doesn’t work.
Sahara slowly works itself down from a wild ride in the desert to a pointless mission to save the world ultimately ending with one of the worst coincidences you could possibly imagine and will most likely guess if you pay any attention at all.
While you will most likely be entertained through the first 80-percent of the film the ending is such a let-down that you forget about the fun you had getting there. McConaughey and Zahn have perfect chemistry as onscreen adventure seeking buddies, which is unfortunate because this could have been a franchise for Paramount, but I have a feeling that audiences will not be clamoring for more Pitt once all is said and done.