Jammed with more stuff – characters, plot lines, sight gags, explosions, buddy banter and the romantic flutter of gorgeous people falling in love – than there are grains of sand in the desert. It’s an overlong (if occasionally thrilling) environmentally conscious retread of an Indiana Jones flick, complete with a character who’s overly attached to his hat.

But mainly it’s a popcorn movie that’s crammed with eye candy. Matthew McConaughey is all charm but little heft as Dirk Pitt, the explorer hero of the Clive Cussler novel on which the movie is based. Steve Zahn plays the wisecracking best friend with whom he’s searching for a long-lost Civil War battleship, and Penelope Cruz looks like she just stepped from one of her Ralph Lauren ads, even though she plays a doctor searching for the source of a mysterious plague in the unforgiving West African terrain. Rated: PG-13 for action violence. Rating: 2 out of 4 stars.

– Christy Lemire, AP movie critic


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