Sahara ★★½ 2005 (PG-13)
Second attempt to construct a franchise around Clive Cussler's popular Dirk Pitt character (the first was 1980's “Raise the Titanic”). Pitt (McConaughey) and his buddy, Al Giordino (Zahn), are ex-Navy treasurehunters searching for a lost Civil War battleship off the coast of West Africa. Cruz is a UN doctor who enlists Pitt in helping her find the source of a virulent African plague. The plot reeks of modernday Indiana Jones and, thankfully, doesn't try to hide it, helped along by McConaughey and Zahn's boisterous chemistry. Eisner wisely chooses to keep things light throughout, which makes the film both charmingly selfaware and easily dismissible. 127m/C DVD, Blu-ray Disc, UMD, HD DVD . US Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penelope Cruz, Lambert Wilson, Glynn Turman, William H. Macy, Delroy Lindo, Lennie James, Rainn Wilson, Patrick Malahide; D: Breck Eisner; W: John C. Richards, Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, James V. Hart; C: Seamus McGarvey; M: Clint Mansell.