Wednesday 19 December 2007

SAHARA - Clint Mansell gets his just deserts

Directed by Breck Eisner and released in 2005, Sahara is an action packed adventure movie based on the popular novel of the same name by Clive Cussler. With his tongue thrust firmly in his cheek, Matthew McConaughey plays intrepid adventurer, archaeologist and all-round hero, Dirk Pitt.

Chock full of death defying stunts, Sahara follows Dirk and his sidekick Al Giordino on their quest around western Africa for the “Ironclad”, an armoured gunboat from the American Civil War. Along the way they pick up Penelope Cruz, some dodgy Europeans and a corrupt warlord. Sahara makes no pretence at being deep and meaningful, it's just great fun and leaves you with a silly smile on your face at the end.

Although the soundtrack contains some classic rock tracks from Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad and the Faces, it is Brit musician Clint Mansell, composer of the pounding Pi soundtrack, who supplies the good humoured and energetic score for Sahara. At times it recalls elements of David Arnold's Stargate and on cues like All Aboard, Arnold's own faux-Barry Bond-lite scores. To add some depth to a fundamentally action-based soundtrack Mansell employs some exotic Middle-Eastern and African stylings which reflect the west African backdrop very nicely.

All in all Sahara is perhaps not the most original soundtrack you'll ever hear, but it's got some strong themes and it's good to see Mansell elevate himself to the next level of big screen scoremuffins.


Bobby Martini said...

I really enjoyed this film although I know it was universally panned. Mansell's score was great and I think one of his best to date - good post !!

THXjay said...

I already have this but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this great film. I have no idea why it was panned by the critics?

Loved the score the first time I heard it as well, it has a nice nod to Barry's Bond scores :)

Merry Christmas Crispin

Crispy32 said...

Merry Christmas Bobby and Jay!

I have to admit I'm puzzled why Sahara got had all the right ingredients - maybe it was the stars?? There again look what happened to Serenity - great film, great tanked and laid to rest any hope of a Firefly resurgence :(