I immensely enjoyed this film (and highly recommend that you see it) for the following reasons:
1. Although the context was not well-explained, it had a pretty decent political statement underneath the action-packed sequences, explosions and all that Texan eye-candy. *Wipes drool.*
2. And the political statement is, curiously enough, stated by an African in the movie: "It's Africa. Nobody cares about Africa."
3. It didn't resort to the US government saving the day in a foreign land once again. It's very rare that a Hollywood flick actually shows US ambiguity in times of another country's distress. Although the lead male characters are ex-Navy men.
4. It is set in Africa. Mali and Nigeria to be exact. Which makes one wonder why in the heck they named this film after the desert to the north, when the storyline doesn't have anything to do with the desert at all. Lemme see, its probably because Americans don't know shit about Africa but the Saharan desert? And this film would have tanked to the high heavens had they entitled it..."Mali" or "Niger River?"
5. I liked the humor liberally sprinkled all over the script. It helps that the actors had good on-screen chemistry. Funny guy #1 is, contrary to the usual formula, actually decent-looking, musckled and dare I say, hot? Although next to Matt McConnoughey, nobody else is hotter. *Drool.*
6. Lambert Wilson, the actor who played Merovingian in Matrix Reloaded, plays the French bad guy once again. For someone who is actually half-French, he has a funny, funny accent.
7. While the story might seem incredibly far-fetched, its not very far from what has happened and what continues to happen in the "dark continent." European business interests (among others) prevail above all else. Colludes with African dictator. African dictator amasses wealth through brute force over the people. "The people" are frequently warring tribes who found themselves in one "state" after Europeans partitioned the continent like a pizza pie about 100 years back. Shit from the past goes right on into the future.
8. Penelope Cruz is dirty, looks a bit sickly and make-up-less. And did I say dirty?
9. The tough, musckled, ex-Navy men are also nerds by heart. Wow. Imagine the combination if it were possible in real life.
So there kids, your 100++ is money well-spent. Enjoy.