Sahara (2005)

“Don’t worry. It’s Africa. Nobody cares about Africa. ” – General Zateb Kazim

Number of Times Seen – 2 (30 Oct 2006 and 19 Jul 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A treasure seeking adventurer teams up with a member of the World Health Organization as they try to find a long lost Confederate ship while being pursued by a vengeful African dictator.

My Take on it – After having read a number of the Dirk Pitt adventures, I can easily say that I’m a fan of Clive Cussler most famous adventurer.

The problem with this film is that they try too hard to turn the character of Dirk Pitt into a new and invigorating Indiana Jones for the 21st Century.

The adaptation loses so much of the impact that the story in the book had and I must admit that once again Hollywood has failed at adapting a potentially great story.

The casting of Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz must have seemed great on paper, but their characters have such poor chemistry together that it gets to be quite laughable.

They seem so mismatched in just about every interaction between them.

Steve Zahn is great as Pitt’s sidekick and is the perfect choice for the comic relief in the story.

Bottom Line – Poor attempt at turning Dirk Pitt into the new Indiana Jones.  His adventures by Cussler are amazing and I especially liked this novel, but the adaptation just isn’t as good as it potentially could have been. McConaughey and Cruz have terrible chemistry together and are extremely mismatched here.  Zahn works well as the comic relief, and even his antics never lose their weight the whole way through.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In the opening scene of the movie, the camera sweeps across a series of newspaper clippings showcasing Dirk Pitt’s accomplishments. If you watch closely you’ll see two articles of note. One is an article about the raising of the Titanic. This is in reference to the Clive Cussler novel Raise the Titanic (1980) where Dirk Pitt brings the ship up (it was written several years before the real Titanic was found to be shattered beyond reach on the bottom of the ocean). The second article is about the discovery of the Oiseau Blanc. This plane was of French origin and was attempting to be the first plane to make a non-stop Paris to New York flight just weeks before Charles A. Lindbergh’s successful journey. The plane left France and was never seen again, but several people in northern Maine claimed to have heard an airplane above the cloud cover at about the right time. Interestingly, in Cussler’s “Sea Hunters II”, he describes how he and his real-life NUMA team of volunteers went searching for the Oiseau Blanc in the forests of Maine, but were unable to find it. He suggests that it likely went down in a large bog. Note that Lindbergh’s flight is often mistaken for the first transatlantic flight, his was the first ‘solo’ transatlantic flight and the first flight from New York to Paris non-stop, but the first transatlantic flight was Alcock and Brown in a WWI Vickers Vimy bomber in 1919, almost eight years before. A flight from Newfoundland to Ireland. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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2 thoughts on “Sahara (2005)

  1. Pingback: Raise the Titantic (1980) |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2005 |

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