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I Finally Review National Treasure

Published November 24, 2004 in MOVIE REVIEW
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Touchstone
There is definately a Indiana Jones feel to some parts of this movie.
There were so many new articles last night, I completely forgot to write the one that initially sat me in front of the computer. I had finally seen National Treasure, a film directed by Jon Turteltaub, produced by Bruckheimer, and starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger [hottie from Troy], and Sean Bean. With this film having more negative reviews than positive, I am feeling pretty rebellious here.

National Treasure is a Fantastic Joy Ride

While National treasure pays plenty of homage to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons [I'll bet $100 the screenwriters have read these books], it does a very impressive job of showing some intelligence while pulling you along for a non-stop thrill ride for almost the entire viewing; except for the first twenty minutes. I greatly enjoyed this film and feel that National Treasure was actually under-hyped. I still can't figure how the film went wrong for so many other critics.

The film begins when we are introduced to a young Ben Washington Gates, who has come across his grandfather's private historic journal. After being caught by his grandfather, played by Christopher Plummer, he learns of his 'knightly' duty to find the lost treasure of the Knights Templar and accepts his part; they never do say if the family is actually in any relation to the Knights Templar. Anywho, we jump to the future and find Ben Gates searching for the 'Charlotte' where the first clue says the secret lies [among other things]. On discovery of the Charlotte, an old ship frozen under ice, Gates and Ian [Bean] disagree on how to handle extracting the next clue off of the Declaration of Independence. After what seems to be a good period of positive work experience, Ian easily turns on Gates and threatens him with death if Gates will not be part of the next clue; meaning to steal the Declaration of Independence.

Gates and Riley under threat of death in what seems to be the only explosion in this Bruckheimer film.
Now, here comes my only criticism of the film. I can not understand, especially after they show the good relations between Gates and Ian, how Ian could have so easily gone from friend to foe. The movie didn't even waste any time to try to figure a resolve between the two men. A resolve which would have been beneficial to both men considering Ian needed Gates for his clue abilities and Gates needed Ian if he wanted any chance to see the Declaration [or so we think]. This is the only part of the film that I thought was pretty far fetched. However, after the film progresses I got used to the fact that the once-business-partner now had no problem shooting at Gates.

Without going into too many spoiler details, from the point of the Charlotte on, the film becomes a non-stop treasure hunt that actually throws in some intelligent clues along the way. Again, if you have read either of the Dan Brown books, you will definitely catch a little deja vu while watching this film. Besides the main cast already listed, there were two other great additions in Justin Bartha [played Riley Poole] and Harvey Keitel who played Agent Sadusky. Justin Bartha is their to serve one main purpose; comedy. He does a great job throwing in one-liners that hit-the-mark most of the time. Harvey Keitel also played a smart role as the FBI agent trying to track down those responsible for stealing the Declaration of Independence. No matter what film this guy has a role in, he always seems to have the look of purpose.

Sean Bean is one of my favorite actors and always plays a worthy role.
In the end, I greatly enjoyed this film and thought the ending was well polished and very resolved for all characters. You can't really go wrong, at least on entertainment factor, when you have Nicolas Cage and Bruckheimer teaming up to give you an adventure movie. This film had me laughing, smiling, and on the edge of my seat during particular moments. Go see this film.

Final Judgment: Go see this film. National Treasure offers up a brilliant mix of comedy and adventure to deliver a very satisfying flick. All of the characters know their rolls and play them perfectly. The film also plays homage to Da Vinci Code which only adds to the intelligence behind the adventure. I would go see this film again with the entertainment meter at a ten.

out of five cans
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Compiled By (Sources)
Ryan Parsons
Sources: Images property of Touchstone

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