Monday, April 11, 2005
Sahara: Just got back from the theater where I watched "Sahara," based on Clive Cussler's book of the same name. I've long been a fan of Cussler's works, largely because Dirk Pitt makes James Bond look like a pansy.
I'll admit to being pleasantly surprised by the film. I can't say how closely it hews to the book, I last read "Sahara" years ago, but the film is definitely surprised. Going in, I was most worried by Steve Zahn, who plays Al Giordano. In the books Al is a short, strong, smart, capable and witty guy. I was afraid Zahn would play him as the classic comic sidekick -- bumbling and cowardly. I'm happy to say it didn't happen. Zahn has some great one-liners, but he didn't come off as a clown.
Matthew McConaughey does a capable job as Dirk Pitt, but he's not quite how I pictured Pitt as I read the books.
The other notable performance is courtesy Rainn Wilson, who plays Rudi Gunn, NUMA's computer expert.
By and large, "Sahara" is a slightly above average action/adventure film. Definitely worth a matinee admission price.
On a related note: If you've never read any of Cussler's books, start with the stuff in paperback -- "Sahara" is a good choice. Cussler's latest, "Black Wind" isn't bad, but it's a step below most of his others.