Mandi Bierly
August 30, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sahara

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
127 minutes
Wide Release Date
04/08/05
performer
Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, Lambert Wilson, Delroy Lindo, William H. Macy, Steve Zahn
director
Breck Eisner
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
Thomas Donnelly, James V. Hart, Joshua Oppenheimer, John C. Richards
genre
ActionAdventure

We gave it a C+

In Sahara, Matthew McConaughey is the literary hero Dirk Pitt, searching for a U.S. Civil War ship loaded with gold and entombed in Africa. Penelope Cruz is a beautiful doctor fighting a deadly plague. Steve Zahn is an actor apparently determined not to have Paul Giamatti’s career. (Zahn’s as likable as ever playing Dirk’s buddy; we just want to see him stretch beyond the spotty action-adventure.)

EXTRAS Two director commentaries is self-aggrandizing, but we’d have forgiven Breck Eisner (son of Michael) if he’d discussed the McConaughey-Cruz romance in either. His solo audio track is full of boring film-school footnotes, but the one with McConaughey — clearly recorded before Sahara‘s release, since they’re talkin’ sequel — is fun and informative: You have to know the code word to get a camel to run fast (so thieves don’t get far). The deleted scenes and making-ofs can’t compete.

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