Friday, April 15, 2005


Judy and I went to see the lastest movie titled Sahara this afternoon. I kind of like the old one with Humphrey Bogart, but this one's nothing like that.

There are more explosions in the first five minutes of this one than in anything else I've seen this year. I figure it might hold the record for most explosions ever, but I'm not sure.

I am sure that it has just about everything you could want in an adventure movie. There's a fine cast, including the hot chick (Penelope Cruz), the high-spirited adventurer (Matthew McConaughey), the zany sidekick (Steve Zahn), despicable villain #1 (Lambert Wilson), despicable villain #2 (Glynn Thurman), the stalwart Old Man (William H. Macy), the other zany sidekick (Rainn Wilson). You have lost treasure, toxic poisoned wells, a Threat to the Entire World, a ticking clock, the flight of the phoenix, guys (and a gal) jumping onto a moving train from the backs of running camels, a Civil War ironclad in the African desert, a neat old car, and I'm sure I'm forgetting eight or ten other things. I didn't see a kitchen sink, but I got the feeling that any minute one could come flying onto the set. And explosions. Did I mention the explosions?

I was curious about one thing. Was it possible that Penelope Cruz (who looks great on camelback, by the way, but then she always looks great: dressed up, disheveled, sheveled, robed, disrobed (but only down to a bikini in this movie) could turn in a performance (she plays a doctor for the World Health Organization) to equal that of Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist in The World is Not Enough? The answer is: Yes. I was absolutely convinced. Of course the members of the so-called Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences, in their overweening envy will never nominate her for the Oscar she so richly deserves, just as they have denied Denise, not only for her performance in the above-mentioned James Bond movie but in the classic Wild Things.

McConaughey and Zahn seem to be having a heck of a good time, as if they both know how outlandish the whole thing is and just don't care. Zahn's there to provide laughs, but he more than holds up his end in the action scenes. (There are hardly any other kinds of scenes in the movie.)

And McConaughey can deliver the required dialogue in just the right spirit. I found myself smiling along with him when the Old Man says, "You know I can't ask you and Al to do this alone," and McConaughey replies, "That's what makes it so good, Admiral. You don't have to." And of course in the next scene, he and Zahn are speeding away to take on hordes of bad guys all by themselves if need be.

So if you like the kind of Boys' Own Adventure movie that doesn't care in the least that it's totally preposterous, if you're willing to go along for the ride and the laughs, you should have a great time at Sahara. I did.
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