Screens New reviews

Journey to 'Sahara' salvages nothing comprehensible

Mathew McConaughey fails to put the swagger in Dirk Pitt, bestselling author Clive Cussler's modern-day swashbuckling hero who managed to Raise the Titanic! and unite Canada and the U.S. in Night Probe. In Sahara, Pitt and company seek a Civil-War sunken treasure in plague-stricken West Africa.

Whether talking about literary or cinematic characters - Milo James Thatch looking for the lost city of Atlantis or Jim Hawkins setting out to find the buried treasure of Captain Flint - any individual who truly believes there is something out there for them to discover will quickly pull out their metal detectors and go escavating for the missing fortune.

In Sahara, adapted from the novel of the same name by Clive Cussler, Dirk Pitt (McConaughey) leads a team of explorers in search of an ironclad Civil War-era shipwreck that is rumored to contain a collection of coins of immense value. Despite McConaughey's attempt at heroism, fool's gold is all he should set his sights on, especially when trekking through the desert by way of four separate screenwriters who are all charting on different treasure maps.


Dir. Breck Eisner; writ. Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, John C. Richards, James V. Hart; feat. Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penelope Cruz, William H. Macy (PG-13)
Alongside McConaughey - whose unnatural tan makes George Hamilton (Hollywood Ending) look like Sean Patrick Flanery in Powder - is Steve Zahn (Shattered Glass), a wisecracking sidekick who would do anything for his partner, and Penelope Cruz (Head in the Clouds), an independent doctor who is hoping to find out what is causing a devastating disease outbreak across West Africa.

Although it might not be too late to save some of the natives from the skin-eating disease, it's impossible to salvage anything comprehensive from Sahara. A slow death in an arid wasteland attended by eye-gouging vultures is its equal. KM

By Kiko Martinez

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