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We saw Sahara at the drive in on Tuesday. It's something between Indiana Jones, National Treasure, and Ishtar. Matthew McConaughey stars as Dirk Pitt, former Navy Seal, current naval salvage guy with a hobby of tracking down an American Civil War ironclad ship that somehow ended up buried in the desert sands of Africa. Steve Zahn is the wisecracking sidekick and Penélope Cruz provides eye candy for those interested in the female form, though Mathew takes his shirt off a bit too much and Penélope not enough.
Like McConaughey, this film is pretty but dumb. An action film has to go beyond formula to satisfy me these days. After Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Terminator 3, and Sin City, a straight-up 80's-style action flick seems somehow lacking. What, no irony? No extremely-over-the-top action? No excessively witty dialogue? Nope, just a few characters having fun by running around blowing stuff up, without really showing the gory details and lacking all T&A. Goddamn PG-13 rating system has ruined the action flick that once made the drive in so exciting. Now the studios all pander to the youngest common denominator and us adults are left waiting for the next… well, Sin City!
Oh, I'm off on a rant again.
Anyhow, this has plot holes almost as gaping as National Treasure, but not quite as numerous. If McConaughey could act you wouldn't need Zahn as the witty sidekick, but he can't so we're stuck with a weak buddy picture instead of the more engaging Indiana Jones. And by the end, when they discover the ironclad boat buried in a cliff wall, our disbelief has been suspended so long we just had to laugh, unfortunately for most of the wrong reasons.
But hey, it was the drive in. The weather was kind to us until minutes before the end, when a brief shower sent us into our cars for the grand finale. The storm passed long enough for us to get out and giggle during the credits before heading home. This weekend, the weatherman is predicting perfect drive in weather for the first Mondo Movie, Sunday night at Starlight Drive In. We get House of Usher and Bloody Mama, a couple of Roger Corman flicks, along with the usual loony trailers and a cartoon. So crank up your classic car, or toss the lawn chairs into the Honda, and head to Starlight this weekend.
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