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'SAHARA' IS A CONFUSING MESS

Do people ever ask you to describe something to them and you have absolutely no idea how to put your thoughts into words? That's kind of how "Sahara" is for me.

Personally, I thought the movie was kinda, sorta, REALLY confusing in parts. Of course, this may have to do with the fact that during the first five minutes of the film, there was no sound. The five minutes that set the stage for the rest of the story; the five minutes that really count, and there's no sound. And then they finally get the sound back on but they can't rewind the movie because that would be too convenient for the audience. Can you believe that? I blame my uncle. Every time we go to the movies together and I have to do a review, something goes wrong. A fire alarm goes off and we miss the ending. Or the sound doesn't work and we have to come up with our own dialogue. Honestly, I can't take the man anywhere. He's a jinx.

But anyway, "Sahara" (based on the book by Clive Cussler) is about a treasure hunter named Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) who is traveling in West Africa with his buddy Al Giordino (Steven Zahn), looking for what is known among the locals as the "Ship of Death." The ship in question is a battleship from the American Civil War that somehow wound up in Africa (they probably explain why in the first five minutes.... but then again, I wouldn't know).

Unfortunately, his timing is bad. Regions of West Africa are divided by civil war and a plague seems to be spreading like wildfire. And this is where Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz) comes in. Searching for the source of the mysterious illnesses and tracing it back to Mali, Rojas soon finds that her medical assistance is not entirely wanted. In fact, her interest in the source of the plague could cost her her life. But not if Pitt has anything to say about it. He ends up rescuing her several times before deciding that it's too much trouble to travel halfway across the desert every five minutes to save her butt. So instead he drags her along with him everywhere he goes.

I can't say the movie was bad. Steven Zahn was awesome, adding comic relief with his saracastic, stupid comments. And, girls, McConaughey is looking better than ever. But to someone who hasn't read the book, parts of the movie were unnecessary and confusing. It's one of those films where you blink for a second and you're like, "whoa, what just happened?" And, I'm sorry, but Penelope Cruz can't act. Anyone with a size 4 waist who can fake a very bad accent could have played her part. So overall, it was a two-star movie. I advise reading the book first and then going to see it... And don't go with my uncle.

Samantha Salada is a sophomore at Starpoint.