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Review: Sahara Truly Dry

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Matthew McConaughey plays Dirk Pitt, yeah, and the movie stinks just as much as the main character’s name. To say that the script stretches the boundaries of reality is being kind. Scene after scene you keep on wishing that the movie comes back to reality or that it goes into full fledge science fiction mode. I’m sure that people who have any actual knowledge of Africa, sunken ship retrieval, and/or physics had a worse time than I did trying to make sense of this mess.

I don’t even know where to start washing this pile of dirty laundry. It’s all pretty much one big, heaping mess. Oh wait; I see a big brown stain; the fight scenes. I am an action movie fanatic; not because of explosions but because of gun fights and hand to hand combat. I am not sure how much of an action hero McConaughey wanted to be after this movie, but next time he should just let a double do the work instead of chopping the scene into a mess of choreographed punches. Do you remember the old Batman live-action series where the “POW”, and “KABOOM” appeared in fight scenes? That’s what I thought of while watching the action sequences in Sahara.

There were a lot of good actors in the movie; sadly none of them had an opportunity to actually act. It was more like they all wanted a vacation so they took on a project that, I am guessing, was filmed in Morocco. Steve Zahn saves the movie with his comedic timing and gets the MVP award for actually doing some work. I don’t even want to start talking about Penelope Cruz, who wasn’t very convincing as a doctor. I’m not even sure why she was cast. She didn’t bring anything to the character. In scenes requiring her to appear compassionate, she seemed more disgusted and ready to get off the set into her air conditioned trailer.

Delroy Lindo shows up and I wonder if the movie is now going to pick up some speed. Maybe he will get the movie in gear and we’ll finally see some action. Sadly, he has about 2.5 scenes in the movie and it’s almost like a lifesaving float made out of toilet paper that dissolves as you try to hang onto it.

The final scene is both unrealistic and insulting. While it is possible to shoot down a helicopter with a cannon that has not been used in 100 years, I find it highly doubtful that the following circumstances will all line up in a real life situation:

1. That the aiming mechanism on the cannon will not be rusted together and will work like it was just oiled 20 minutes before shooting.
2. That the gunpowder and wick are still flammable on a ship that sank.
3. That the helicopter pilot is stupid enough to actually line himself with a clearly visible cannon.

After swallowing that pill and making all that believable, I wonder how the shooters connect on their first try. Not only is the helicopter clearly out of range and physically impossible to hit with a civil war cannon, but today’s helicopters can avoid being hit by rocket propelled grenades. I would think a slow-moving cannon ball would be avoidable.

Let’s see if I can help the writers here, how about this. I give you that the cannon would fire without a problem, why not have the stars of the movie get the cannon ready and then stay “vewy vewy” quite. When the helicopter comes to check on their demise – “KABOOM” – blow them up. Instead, we have the helicopter ready to once again shoot and line itself up perfectly for the second time (the first time the cannon did not work.) It was just too much.

I have so much more to say about this dirty diaper of a movie, but I’ll stop. If I spend any more time thinking about it, it’ll be burned into my memory. I don’t want that to happen. Please stay away from it, please don’t see this movie, save your money.
Ed: JH

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  • Surely, one of the worst films of the year.

  • You’ve obviously never read a Dirk Pitt novel (by Clive Cussler). Suffice it to say that the description sound relatively close to something he might have written.

  • Webbie

    “..about Penelope Cruz, who wasn’t very convincing as a doctor. I’m not even sure why she was cast…”

    Eye candy. Nothing more.