My wife and I went to see Sahara today, kind of on a whim. She’d mentioned it earlier, but got home from the mall this afternoon and she said "Wanna go see it?". I looked at the times, saw we had 25 minutes to get there, got a baby sitter, dropped the girls off, and got there in time to get munchies and good seats.
This movie is based on a Clive Cussler novel, and while I’ve never read a Clive Cussler novel, I’ve reviewed a couple of his non-fiction works. My dad read Sahara and didn’t really like it at all, but he doesn’t really like anything that is even unlikely to be possible.
I do know a little bit about the background of the characters though. Dirk Pitt is Our Hero, and Cussler has a whole series about him. Dirk works for an organization called NUMA, which looks for underwater relics of historical significance. In real life Cussler made the same organization, though on a smaller scale than in Pitt’s world.
Pitt has a passion for finding a Civil War Ironclad boat that crossed the Atlantic to be lost in Africa as the South was losing the war. No-one really believes it exists except him, but he keeps at it. While working on another project at the beginning of the movie, he gets a strong clue, and away we go.
The plot was more complex than I thought it would be, and I won’t discuss it in depth, since it would spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that there’s LOTS of action.
One of my favorite characters was Al, the sidekick played by Steve Zahn. He’s just a funny guy, very happy-go-lucky. Steve tends to play a similar character in all of his movies, which makes me think he’s probably a lot like that in real life.
One of the bad guys was played by Lambert Wilson, who was The Merovingian in The Matrix.
In summary, it was a really fun movie. The plausibility meter was stretched a good bit, but it didn’t matter. There was a lot going on, but I never once felt like the movie was too long. There was great cinematography, and really fun music. Several times there was musical overlay that faded into someone’s radio in the scene, which made the music part of the characters.
It probably won’t win tons of awards, but it was a really fun movie that will probably get a sequel. They set it up for one quite nicely.