Directed by: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Written by: David Phillips & Philip MacDonald
Starring: James Belushi, Alan David Lee, Michael Massee & Jerome Ehlers
James Belushi is ace in this solid mid 90s remake of the Humphrey Bogart film of the same name. Some may cry foul at the idea of a Bogart film being remade, and on a somewhat low budget, and while the original Sahara is a fine slice of Bogart it’s not exactly a crime to think of remaking it. Under the assured hands of veteran genre director Brian Trenchard-Smith (Day of the Panther, The Man from Hong Kong, Siege at Firebase Gloria), this version of Sahara is well made, nicely acted and packed with gun busting action. Belushi is Joe Gunn an army sergeant who is forced to go on the run through the Sahara desert in his beloved tank Lulubelle during WW2. He heads deeper into the desert, picking up wandering stragglers from a range of allied forces along the way, attempting to outrun an advancing Nazi army. From tank breakdowns to the unrelenting hardship of the desert, the motley crew face their fair share of adversities before finding a desert oasis with a well full of water. Holing up there they decide to stand strong against the Germans who mount a full scale attack against Belushi and his men in a bid to take the oasis and seize the precious water.
The makers don’t forget to stage some impressive action either as the tank is as much a part of the cast as any actor, it causing major wholesale Nazi destruction come the finale. In fact, the finale sees the film turn into a siege picture as the crew hunker down to make a stand within the ruins of the oasis. Trenchard-Smith is a dab hand at staging action and gets to let loose with a large cast of extras, some impressive machine gun action and a tank in an exciting last act battle. War based action coupled with an excellent cast and solid production values; Sahara is a taut and tight war film worthy of tracking down.