SAHARA That's a sweet piece of 'stache.
dir. Eisner
Opens Fri April 8
Various Theaters

It's never a good sign when all I can remember about a movie is the leading actor's mustache. But… there you have it. Sahara is one of those wisecracking, adrenaline-pumped thrill rides that Hollywood consistently makes, and consistently makes incorrectly. But ohhh… that mustache. That pervy, prickly, sexy-lookin' mustache.

Unsuccessful actor Matthew McConaughey stars as the mustachioed, hilariously named Dirk Pitt (the macho protagonist of Clive Cussler's action/adventure series of novels). Pitt is a former Navy Seal turned adventurer/marine salvage specialist, who, along with smart-mouthed sidekick Al Giordino (the not very Italian Steve Zahn) trolls the seas in search of a historic Civil War battleship with a mysterious cargo. Even more mysterious? They wind up searching for the Confederate boat off the coast of Nigeria. Gumming up the fun is damsel in distress Dr. Eva Rojas (Penélope Cruz), a World Health Organization operative who sticks her big nose into the wrong dictator's business--but happily for Rojas and West Africa, Pitt and partner ride in to the rescue, blasting Southern rock all the way.

There are actually many more details, but as I mentioned earlier, who can remember when faced with such a disturbing, yet hormonally enflaming mustache? There was something about a plague, and William H. Macy was also in the movie, smoking a cigar in an unsuccessful attempt to look tough. Plus, there were jokes! (But not very funny ones.) And there were long, draggy sections of the film devoted to getting Pitt from one predictable explosion to another, which gives an audience member far too much time to consider the racist implications of a Confederate-obsessed white man rushing to the rescue of the Africans.

Ah-HA! This is exactly why they gave McConaughey such fascinatingly worrisome hair underneath his nose! It's the thin, yet slightly bushy 'stache that is preferred by sex offenders around the globe, and therefore unavoidably attractive. It's why Burt Reynolds works, it's why Tom Selleck works, and now that Matthew McConaughey wears one, we can finally forget about his ceaseless string of awful movies, which naturally includes this one. Man. That is one powerful mustache.