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Sahara
Category Adventure
Year: 2005
Time: 124 minutes
Production: Paramount Pictures
Director: Breck Eisner
Cast:
Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, Steve Zahn, William H Macy, Rainn Wilson
MPAA PG-13 / UK12A
Our Rating 6/10 - Thumbs-up for the soundtrack!
Watchability 5/10
Contributed by Jordan Taylor
 
Plot:

Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) and his mate Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) are retired marine-commandoes and, even more unlikely, part-time marine-archaeologists working on various projects around the globe, but Pitt is always on the quest of a Civil War ironclad-warship that vanished without a trace hundreds of years earlier.
  When a rare gold dollar coin shows up mysteriously in Western Africa, Pitt borrows captain William H Macy's luxury speedboat to follow the trail with Zahn and Dwight from The Office, and also two World Health Organization stowaways (Cruz and another guy who doesn't last too long).  Cruz is investigating a new plague that is sweeping through Mali in a completely different plot that doesn't make much sense until the end of the movie.
  Soon all are under attack from a newly-appointed African warlord with a few secrets that he wants to keep hidden from the outside world..

 
So, how does it end?

They befriend a local warlord at war with Kazim (the big, bad warlord) -- keeping up? -- and drive Kazim's classic car through the frontgates of a solar-powered chemical disposal plant in the middle of the desert.
  The plant has been deserted except a few radioactive workers left behind, so it doesn't take them long to figure it's a trap.  Pitt runs off to rescue Cruz, while Zahn tries to find the explosives left in one of the nuclear waste barrels about to be incinerated.
   Meanwhile Macy and Dwight try to get the US and local governments on board - but do a terrible job.
  Pitt has a fight with the plant owner's Indiana Jones style henchman on top of the heliport, while Cruz manages to escape from the slick business man's chopper ride.  The explosion doesn't obliterate the plant as expected, and Pitt throws the henchman off the top of the tower to break a few panes of super-hot glass beneath.
  Driving leisurely away in the borrowed hot-rod, Kazim appears in his Apache gunship and, with truly awful hand-eye coordination skills, cannot pick them off despite an abundance of missiles, machine-gun fire and faster engines.  In the exchange, they discover the buried remains of the ironclad ship - but it offers little protection from the armor-piercing machine-gun fire.
  Kazim's tanks appear on the scene, but he wants to finish the job himself and -- not one for archaeology -- he takes one final run towards the ship with his finger on the trigger, but good old Pitt fires a cannon ball straight through the cockpit.
  His army surrender as the helicopter plummets to the ground in a ball of fire.
  Everyone else lives happily-ever-after:  McConaughey and Cruz enjoy a splash in the sea, Zahn plays football with the village kids, the nicer warlord keeps all the treasure from the ship, William H Macy is offered a better job with the government ... and Delroy Lindo from 'Gone in 60 Seconds' serves a glass of poisoned water to the slick businessman in a posh restaurant.  He should have ordered the house wine.

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