In the scorching desert, dirk pitt uncovers the truth behind his lifelong quest - the fate of a civil war ironclad. Now, amidst the blazing, shifting sands of the sahara, dirk pitt will make a desperate stand - in a battle the world cannot afford to lose!
Sahara takes the action/adventure story to new heights of preposterousness. In a way, that's not a bad thing, since it allows a certain level of guilty enjoyment. You're never expected to take anything in the movie seriously, because the characters and filmmakers don't. They're constantly directing knowing winks and nods at the audience, as if to reassure us that they know the story is stupid, but, hey, dumb can be fun sometimes. And there are times during Sahara when this approach works. Maybe 50 minutes worth of times. The problem? The movie is 127 minutes long.
San Francisco Examiner
"Sahara" has its moments. It features the best use of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" on a movie soundtrack that I've ever seen, and Cruz bursts to life in one action scene after boarding a moving train from a galloping camel. McConaughey helps her up and her enthusiastic response makes it seem as if she actually performed the stunt, and, what's more, thoroughly enjoyed herself. At least someone did.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
McConaughey, despite alarmingly orange makeup, does justice to the role, a hard-drinking, shipwreck- hunting senator's son with a 007 way with the ladies. There's a lot of Pitt in Cussler, who has discovered more than sixty shipwrecks and started the National Underwater and Marine Agency, the nonprofit group that Pitt works with in the movie. Zahn, despite looking and sounding more like a surfer dude than the book's brawny Italian stallion, pushes for laughs and gets them. And Cruz, despite her still-indecipherable English, gets in more fem-warrior licks than Cussler ever wrote for the doc. Subplots abound involving slavery, gold and nuclear-waste pollution on its way to the U.S. But there's no disguising the fact that Sahara has all the heft of marshmallow.
DVD, Widescreen, No Longer Produced
Paramount Home Video
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
...fun and casual, full of genuine laughs and thrills.
Philip French, Guardian
Sahara is a cross between a Bond movie and an Indiana Jones adventure...
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The casting is so strong and the overall filmmaking flair of the movie is so captivating...it works.