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Sahara

Year: 2005
Studio: Paramount
Director: Breck Eisner
Writer: Clive Cussler/Thomas Dean Donnelly/Joshua Oppenheimer/John C Richards/James V Hart
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penelope Cruz, William H Macy, Delroy Lindo, Rainn Wilson, Lambert Wilson
The first shot of Sahara, during the opening credits, is a beautifully executed shot where we're led all over a room that shows us the life and times of Dirk and his friends. It's a brilliant piece of editing and promises great things from director Eisner.

Unfortunately, as things move along he resorts to badly cut shots to keep the action moving along - as directors sometimes do when they've apparently shot a lot of action and chopped hell out of it to sustain the pace. You know the kind - one too many shots of the hero turning to look at his pursuers or the heroine smiling adoringly at him.

So while it's better than Tomb Raider , it's still a far cry from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Cussler's Indy-lite hero Dirk Pitt (McConaughey, in his first big role in quite awhile) is looking for an iron battleship from the American civil war he thinks went missing in Africa.

He takes his thoroughly stereotypical comic sidekick (Zahn) and a WHO doctor investigating a medical epidemic that ends up being related (Cruz, hardly able to act her way out of a wet paper bag), and director Eisner mishandles the editing to deliver minimal plot, maximum chase scenes.

Okay fun, some funny lines, but not the last word in adventure movies.

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