Apr 102005
Authors: Ryan Skeels

According to Mr. Webster's dictionary, deja vu means "the feeling that one has had an experience previously, although it is actually new to one." If you were one of the millions of lucky people to make it to Nicholas Cage's thrilling "National Treasure," these euphoric feelings may happen upon you not 10 minutes into Matthew McConaughey's latest stab at an adventure in "Sahara."

Based on Clive Cussler's best-selling novel and directed by the former Disney CEO's son, Breck Eisner, it quickly becomes apparent as to how Breck was able to score this job. "Sahara" follows Cussler's action hero, Dirk Pitt, on a treacherous journey into the heart of the desert in search of a long-lost Civil War battleship with a hidden treasure beneath its ironclad frame.

Taking the role of sidekick in the hunt as Al Giordino, Steve Zahn packs in the wisecracks wherever he can find the room as comic relief. And of course, in every good scavenger hunt there must be the fair maiden. In this case we get Penelope Cruz, who also adds an additional mystery to the equation; why are all these African folk going mad and zombie-like? Ah ha, this sounds like a job for one man and one man only … Dirk Pitt!

It's no surprise to hear that this is one of Eisner's first directing jobs, as "Sahara" never ceases to drag for the entire two hours. Zahn's character manages to put an occasional smile on your face, and the super-cheesey action scenes are mindlessly entertaining, but overall it's just plain boring. This is one of those movies that is entertaining solely because you can't believe they actually said this or did that. Seriously though; two men turning a broken-down plane into a sail-racer in the middle of nowhere using only their bare hands seems a bit ridiculous?

It's granted that fiction is fiction and impossibilities like this should be ignored, but did they really have to cue "Magic Carpet Ride" as Dirk and Al hoot and holler their way through the sand? It's the endless number of similar scenes that start to weigh on your eyelids as the scenes multiply throughout the story.

If you're in the mood for some mindless babble showcasing McConaughey's biceps and Cruz's bosom, grab yourself a one-way ticket to "Sahara." Just don't prepare for the time of your life. McConaughey wouldn't stand a chance in Indiana.

1 out of 4 rams.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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