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Home arrow Movies arrow Sahara

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Sahara Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 12 April 2005
ImageTake a big scoop of James Bond and mix it up with a large dose of Indiana Jones and you end up with Dirk Pitt, adventerer extraordinaire.  Clive Cussler has been writing Dirk Pitt novels for years but Sahara is the first on-screen tale of his adventures.  The movie is fun and exciting.  Most significantly though, it introduces us to the first real adventure hero we've had for a long time. 
Over the last decade, and maybe even before, we have been missing an adventure hero. The 1960's and 1970's gave us Bond, James Bond.  Despite the fact that this personna was split between various actors (notably, Roger Moore and Sean Connery during those decades) the character remained a steadfast adventure hero prototype.  In the 1980's the Bond fanbase began to dwindle.  Brosnan stepped in as the new Bond and made a good showing, in fact, he was arguably the 'best' Bond ever.  Popularity for this character just wasn't there.  Many younger viewers (twenty something and teens) considered Bond to be their father's Oldsmobile. By the 21 century Bond was essentially dead. The underwhelming performance of the 20th Bond movie simply underscored this fact. 
As Bond was fading a new star was rising.  In 1981 Indiana Jones burst on the scene with Raiders Of The Lost Ark.  Jones was heavy on the adventure side with a bit of romance thrown in.  Harrison Ford's likability and humor won the hearts of female viewers.  His brash attitude and free-for-all style won the respect of the male viewers. Yes somehow Indie never made it out of the 80s.  I suspect it had to do a lot with the poor quality The Temple Of Doom and The Last Crusade.  Very few people enjoyed those movies.  There is an effort to bring him back sometime in 2006 with an Indiana Jones 4 movie.  No doubt there are many, myself included, anxiously waiting to see if he still has the same magic.
In the 90's Austin Powers stepped in to try to save the day.  But he was just a novelty that faded leaving a few souveniers in our pop culture, Yeah Baby!  We also witnessed the unforgettable appearance of Aragorn in the Lord Of The Rings masterpeices.  Aragorn, the High King, was a bit too lofty for mere mortals though.  While being a hero, he didn't relate to the everyday man.  It is an incredible stretch of the imagination to see ourselves rallying troops and leading an attack against hordes of orcs as Aragorn did.  Seeing ourselves crawling through secret underground passages in search of long lost treasure doesn't seem so hard.  Aragorn has another "flaw" -- he is too good.  A true adventure hero is a little bit, well, a lot bit, reckless.  Aragorn is almost the opposite of reckless. 
And this brings us to the present stage where Dirk Pitt has just stepped onto the screen.  All of the elements are there.  We have adventure, romance, humor, recklessness, and just general likability.  I think Pitt will be the new adventure hero for a few years.  With luck we'll see another Dirk Pitt movie sometime soon. 
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 July 2005 )

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