Quite a few years ago when I still read (books) frequently, one of my favorite authors was Clive Cussler. His novels played out like a thinking man’s action film, and besides “Raise the Titanic” were never translated to motion picture. Thankfully that has changed with the release of Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey as the hero Dirk Pitt, Steve Zahn as Pitt’s partner Al Giordino, William H. Macy as their boss Admiral Sandecker, and Penelope Cruz offers up both beauty and wit as the doctor Eva. Now the first question anyone will ask about this movie is, does it stay true to the book? I’d say 95% of the time it does. They skip explanation of a few details, as well as the usual cameo by Clive Cussler which is typical of his novels (however his daughter did have a bit part in the film). I was also pretty surprised to see Steve Zahn play the role of Giordino, which if memory serves me right was a short, stocky Italian. Still, Zahn nails the role. While most of his prior roles have been off the cuff humor, he manages a superb balance of both comedy and seriousness that was both impressive and suprising. Back when I first read the book, I couldn’t imagine an actor capable of pulling off Dirk Pitt either, but McConaughey had the role pegged. Everyone fit their role like a glove. The storytelling is top notch, action, effects, and acting are all beyond expectations. I tell ya, if this movie didn’t dominate the box office this past weekend, I’ll be amazed. When most movies out there are nothing but gobs of eye-candy in the place of actual substance, Sahara stands out of the crowd and more accurately, stomps them into the ground.
I highly recommend this movie, lock and load.