I went to a movie with a friend who is a huge movie buff. She recommended Sahara, partly because she had seen everything else out there already, and partly because we had a 7 and 10 year old in tow, so what we saw had to be 'kid friendly'.
So we saw Sahara, which hadn't been getting super good reviews, apparently: 2 stars, sometimes 3. But frankly, I thought it was quite good - for its genre.
Based on Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels, Sahara is an action/adventure flick, kind of in the school of Indiana Jones, but in this case we have a couple of deep-sea diving treasure hunters who are looking for a long-vanished Civil War ship. Their search takes them to Africa where they become involved in a WHO mission, which further morphs into a potential environmental disaster of global proportions.
Matthew McConaughey stars in this Breck Eisner directed, independently financed project, along with his current real-life love interest Penelope Cruz; also co-starring is the very funny Steve Zahn and William H. Macy.
Now, usually McConaughey does not usually make much of an impression on me when I've seen him in movies: I usually look at him and think to myself, now there's a guy who's losing his hair. Shallow , I know, but true (well, at least it looks that way to me).
Anyway, in this film I found McConaughey to be absolutely riveting - I couldn't take my eyes off him, and the state of his hair loss did not once enter my mind. Likewise, the scenery was something that evoked a fairly strong reaction in me: the initial scenes of Lagos, Nigeria made me think that there was a place I NEVER wanted to visit; but as they moved inland, up the river, the scenery changed and I actually felt like I wanted to go there, to see and visit places like that. And I guess that that is part of the magic of movies: if you can't go there yourself, they take you there and make it feel like you've been there. And that's kind of how it was with this film.
Interestingly enough, McConaughey co-produced this film, and spend six weeks this spring driving all over the southern USA in a truck and customized Airstream trailer promoting the film. So he must have felt it, too.