For those of you who are not war movie fanatics or are able to erase bad memories, there was a remake of the Humphrey Bogart classic starring Jim Belushi. I kid you not! It appeared on TV in 1995 and I believe I watched it when it premiered. That’s right – I had no life even back then. The movie was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith (“The Siege of Firebase Gloria”). He used extras from the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Army for the Germans.
|the guy on the left is not Humphrey Bogart, trust me|
|the tank that won the Battle of El Alamein|
“Sahara” sticks pretty closely to the original script so it was obviously intended to bring a color version to a new generation. In that respect it succeeds fairly well. If you have not seen the original, this is an acceptable substitute. It’s the pyrite version. Besides the color, you do get more realistic combat with more authentic wounds. Actually, I don’t remember a single German being just wounded. The mortality rate is 100%. The two despicable Germans get what they deserve. Some of the good guy deaths are surprising and poignant. The acting is acceptable. No one embarrasses themselves, including Belushi. He actually is comfortable in the role if you can get beyond prejudice against him as an actor. The dialogue is not terrible and there is some character development of the “where ya from?” ilk. The music is TVesque.
I know you were expecting me to rip this movie apart and I am sorry if you are disappointed. Those of you who follow this blog know that I am not enamored with classic war movies. Older does not automatically mean great. The original “Sahara” is a very good movie and did not need a remake, but to judge the new one on its own merits is only fair. It is a decent little time waster and a nice effort for a made-for-TV movie. Get over the fact that it stars Jim Belushi.
GRADE = C