"We're in the desert, looking for the source of a river pollutant, using as our map a cave drawing of a Civil War gunship, which is also in the desert. So I was just wondering when we're gonna have to sit down and re-evaluate our decision-making paradigm?"    - Al Giordino

release year: 2005
genre: action/adventure
viewing setting: home Bluray 9/29/13 and home DVD, 9/11/2005

synopsis: Adventurer/treasure hunter Dirk Pitt goes after a lost Civil War ironclad and also gets caught up in a bigger plot.

impressions: It had its share of rip-roaring action and evil plots (as well as hidden treasure) but it was far from perfect. Problems: 1) plot coincidences, e.g. during a chase through the desert, they just happen to stumble upon the missing ship from 150 years ago...2) Penelope Cruz' character is stupid, and the actress herself brings little or no personality to this role.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A lost Civil War ship...buried in Africa.

acting: Matthew McConaughey does a good job balancing competence and recklessness as Dirk Pitt. Steve Zahn is his sidekick, who for some reason kept reminding me of Stifler from American Pie. Penelope Cruz, as I mentioned, has a weak role here. The two main bad guys were sufficiently slimy and evil.

final word: Worth seeing, but it falls short of Indiana Jones adventure status.

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