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Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Carl
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Captain Tombs
Jude Akuwudike ...
Imam
Mark Aspinall ...
Lawyer
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Christopher Bello ...
Train Driver
Nicholas Beveney ...
Gunboat 1 Officer
Empotoe Bosage ...
Pick Up Truck Guard
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Storyline

Master explorer and former US Navy Seal Dirk Pitt and his wisecracking buddy Al Giordino goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War ironclad battleship known as the "Ship of Death" that protects a secret cargo is lost somewhere in the deserts of West Africa. But while the two cross paths with a beautiful and brilliant U.N. scientist Dr. Eva Rojas who is being hounded by a ruthless dictator. She believes that the hidden treasure may be connected to a larger problem that threatens the world around them. Hunting for a ship that no one else thinks exists, Dirk, Al, and Eva must rely on their wits and their daring heroics to outsmart dangerous warlords, survive the threatening terrain, and get to the bottom of both mysteries. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dirk Pitt. Adventure has a new name. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Сахара  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,370,577 (UK) (8 April 2005)

Gross:

$68,642,452 (USA) (29 July 2005)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William H. Macy was the only actor considered for the role of Sandecker. See more »

Goofs

Red tide and pollution spread:

The red tide that was growing unusually fast, which would have threatened the oceans, would have had its food source (the pollutants) diluted too much when it mixed in the ocean, and the red tide would not have spread around the world.

The speed of the pollutants through the Niger river, if it would have gone to the ocean in a few weeks, would have sickened hundreds of thousands of people by the middle of the movie, not just a few random small villages, and there would be no way to keep that amount of deaths a secret. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sailor Who Drops Gold: Sorry, captain.
Pilot, Ironclad: It's all right son, just keep moving. That's the future in your hands.
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Crazy Credits

In the opening title sequence of the movie, when the camera is panning over all the Dirk Pitt articles and pictures on the wall, just as in many of Clive Cussler's books he appears in one of the pictures. There is a cut-out of Clive's head atop a woman in a bikini - just after the picture of Dirk and Al in Navy Whites and just before a picture of Sandecker with the President. See more »

Connections

Featured in Making 'Sahara' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Djaa
Written by Mamady Keïta
Performed by Mamady Keïta
Courtesy of Fonti Musicale / Follow Me Productions / Zig Zag World
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User Reviews

 
Highly Enjoyable
1 March 2005 | by (Philadelphia) – See all my reviews

I just saw this movie at the Philadelphia screening, and I'm going to agree with the 8 star rating it has garnered so far. We all know the formula for this sort of movie, and yes, Sahara does follow the formula pretty closely, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

It's an action movie, if that wasn't entirely clear. Simply put, if you like action movies, see this movie. If you don't, don't. The film follows our hero – ex-marine treasure hunter Dirk Pitt – and his friends through Africa as they uncover evil plots, fight bad guys, and search for treasure. While there aren't any surprising twists in the plot, I do admit that it was not completely predictable. The plot has enough originality in it to keep you watching. True to it's genre, the plot delivers plenty of action. It's not to stylized (Matrix) or epic (Lord of the Rings) but it won't let you down. The ending is just about as slam-bang as you'd expect, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Dirk Pitt is played by Matthew McConaughey, who happened to speak before the movie was shown. Apparently he'd been involved in the movie as more than just an actor – he is one of the executive producers, a role he takes seriously (he said he'd had the opportunity to produce other films but turned them down, not wanting to get involved in something unless he was really going to commit to actually working on it). McConaughey said that he'd been trying to get the role for seven years, and is quite pleased with the result. When asked if he planned to produce future movies, he gave a definitive "yes". He also hinted at the possibility of a sequel, if this movie does well, noting that there are sixteen more books by the author this script was based on.

McConaughey plays Pitt well. It's a pretty standard action-hero role. McConaughey's performance isn't particularly ground-breaking, but he throws the punches and delivers the lines with appropriate demeanor. My only complaint would be that he is a little too cool at times, given the stressful situations... but then again this movie wasn't made for realism. Al Giordino is Dirk's more technically minded buddy and co-adventurer. They've been friends since kindergarten, how sweet. Oh and you guessed it. Al is our comic-relief guy. Al is played by Steve Zahn, who delivers the comic relief character in a manner slightly less cliché than I was expecting. It just works a little better because he really does come off naturally as Dirk's long time friend, as opposed to some wise-ass who's just here for the ride. The chemistry between McConaughey and Zahn is very effective, as the previous reviewer pointed out. They really do appear more as two guys trying to get something done as opposed a hero and a side-kick. Also worth mentioning is Rainn Wilson who plays Rudi. Rudi is basically another comic-relief guy who has much less screen time then Zahn, but Wilson did a nice job. William H. Macy plays the commander type character, Dirks boss. Not Macy's best job in my opinion, it was a bit stilted – but with some funny moments. Lambert Wilson, of Matrix fame (The Merovingian) stars as well. I was a little disappointed to see him early on in the film, cause it was one of those moments where I just knew that he was going to turn out to be a bad guy. He does pretty well, although he seems to be doing just a slightly toned-down version of the Merovingian here. Ah, and let's not forget Penélope Cruz. Our heroine, the W.H.O. doctor, does just fine in her role. One thing I have to say is that the inevitable hero / heroine romance is very effectively down-played. In fact, there really isn't too much romance in this film at all.

On the technical end of things, Sahara does fine. There aren't too many overwhelming special effects, but the effects there are come off completely realistically. The movie is shot beautifully, although it seemed like the entire thing was shot with extremely long lenses. I was glad to have my depth perception back at the end of the movie. The vistas of Morocco are quite nice, and there are some nice scenes in modern day African cities and towns that pick up quite nicely on camera. I got excited when I saw Clint Mansell's name in the opening credits as the music composer (he brought us the fabulous Requiem for a Dream piece, probably my favorite soundtrack song). In the end, the music wasn't much to talk about. The orchestral pieces were pretty bland (sorry Clint), and there were occasional bits of popular music that I found to be out of place (the inclusion of "Sweet Home Alabama" is particularly offensive in this regard, it's been in so many soundtracks, it even has it's own movie). There is some quite decent African music which is enjoyable.

The rating of PG-13 is appropriate. There is no nudity or anything, no serious profanities that I can remember, and the action is not gory or too bloody.

All in all, it's a fun movie. If you need heart-rending drama and a complex psychological plot, than you will probably not agree with my 8 star rating. This movie isn't going to win any awards, and will not become a favorite of serious film aficionados, but if you want to go out to the theater on a Saturday night with a bunch of friends, this will be one movie you can all agree on.


179 of 270 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What makes this movie bad? catbuddy91
A competent sidekick Ostrich25
Seriously? insaneguitar
ANCIENT CANNON AND CANNOBALLS SCENE russeld-1
I liked Sahara and it has made me want to read the books... thadcastle
I like it. huwdj
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