National Treasure (2004)
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with no explicit language and scenes, National Treasure is well-suited for family entertainment! its a light-hearted film good for an evening of chilling out! the subtle love story also adds credit to the film.
I had the pleasure of seeing this film twice at the theater. The only shows where I've seen the audience more into a movie were Spider-man 1 & 2, X-MEN 2, and Rocky. The movie is interesting from start to finish.
While all the actors (and actress) do a good job, Sean Bean steals the show. So many times, the villain can make or break the film. Sean Bean was the absolute best choice for this particular villain. The characters arrogance, intelligence, and relentless resolve shine through.
I feel the main drawback to the film was its PG rating. It would have been better as a PG-13. Some obvious violence was toned down. Even people that never use foul language, would have dropped the "F" bomb here and there. But as it stands with its PG rating, everyone can enjoy it.
This story is very similar to a Dan Brown novel in its real time development and an interesting mix of historical information into an entertaining plot. While it isn't quite as rich as a book can be, it is still a good clever little adventure. Well paced with some good action scenes that will keep you hooked all the way through.
There are some glaring errors in logic and moments of sappiness that bring down what good have been a good thriller, but seeing that this is a family oriented movie it is forgivable. Also the film is pretty much geared for an American audience, but should be a good evening of light entertainment for most movie watchers. 7/10
Rated PG for mild violence and action
I'm glad I did.
"National Treasure" is a welcome throwback of a film. The hero's a little scuffed around the edges, but clearly one of the good guys. The reluctant (at first) heroine is spunky, smart and beautiful. The baddie is wealthy, charming and accented. And the sidekick's a scream.
Nicolas Cage does well in that he doesn't try to play Benjamin Gates like Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones. There's a bit of the geek buried none too deep in Cage's performance, and the only time he gets rough with a bad guy, he hurts his hand.
Justin Bartha's overgrown-kid persona provides plenty of comic relief -- and it's a relief in itself that "National Treasure" doesn't fall back on the "kill the sidekick" formula. The film needs him, and it needs him all the way through.
Diane Kruger and Sean Bean do a fine job of portraying two sides of the same coin: Immigrants obsessively chasing the American Dream. The difference is in their interpretation of the dream.
There's one on screen death, not gory. There's little, if any, profanity. Brainpower, not firepower, carries the day. And there's a genuine regard for learning throughout the film (although, admittedly, a few of the facts are off).
And yes, there are moments when you realize that being an old-school film hero means leading a particularly charmed life. After all, given the seasonal changes in the sun's daily position, what are the odds of it making a shadow fall just so -- just when the good guys need it to? But that's the way it is in a good hidden-treasure epic: When truth and right are on your side, someone makes sure you get the breaks.
There's a moral buried in the ending, too, that can be taken either way. Sharing is good -- but is it sharing of physical wealth, or of a political ideal? Given the obvious reverence for the Founding Fathers and their philosophies in "National Treasure," the answer might be "and" rather than "or." All in all, far better than I had expected. Not earth-shatteringly significant, but family-friendly, well-paced and a whole lot of escapist fun.
So Nick Cage, plays Ben Gates, the treasure hunter whose family has been looking for the treasure of the knights templer for years. One of his relatives possessed the last remaining clue from a dying Mason. So, the movie starts with Cage finally solving that clue, and the film goes from there. Of course, we have the evil billionaire guy who wants the treasure for himself and the funny sidekick. But, I think the sidekick failed because he wasn't all that funny. The movie could have used some more humor. And of course, Gates hooks up with a beautiful woman along the way to help him solve the clues, which sounds just like Da Vinci.
It is unbelievable that someone could just come up with the answer to these difficult clues after thinking about them for 2 minutes, but we don't have time to let the characters ponder them for a few months. It is meant to be fun, so forget about the plot holes. The whole set beneath the church looked very neat, but I would have to think all those wooden stairs would have been rotten by then and no one could walk on them. But who cares, it's fun.
And the theft of the Declaration of Independence was reminiscent of Ocean's 11. Funny how anyone can steal anything in a film, forget locked down security.
FINAL VERDICT: If you like adventure films, I recommend it. It is not like Tomb Raider, which some have compared it to. Tomb Raider was horrible. This is more like Indiana Jones.
If we can believe Ben Gates can pull the caper, then there's no problem in enjoying this film, which offers an action packed couple of hours that could have been trimmed a little bit to make it even better.
Not being a Nicolas Cage fan, one was prepared for the worst, but this is one of the films in which Mr. Cage is at his mellowest intensity and it's easy to tolerate his antics. Diane Kreuger is a beautiful addition to the film that pays well. Justin Bartha does what he can being a computer nerd and pulling fantastic stuff to help his friend. Sean Bean, Christopher Plummer and Jon Voight, are seen in supporting roles.
This is a film that will play well with young minds and with adults that will allow for the silliness of the situation at hand.
This movie has been called preposterous and unlikely. Hmmm? I don't suppose the critics liked "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "The Bourne Identity" or "Independence Day" or "The Sum of All Fears" or for that matter, "Titanic " ! This treasure hunter story, backed up by allusion to national history is fun to watch and fun to think about. The acting is just enough off edge and the dialog and commentary is just right so that it appeals to both adults and children. Disney got it right again.
GO SEE IT ! Or rent or buy the DVD, its a keeper for when you can't find something decent to watch. Put it alongside "Pirates of the Caribbean"........also preposterous but great fun ! We loved it and feel sorry for critics who think movies have to be of great social significance or import to be "great entertainment".
Joe Turner Illini News Service
I went to see National Treasure last because it got the worst rating by critics.
It turned out to be the best of four.
An excellent movie, packed with suspense, good acting, plot, from beginning to end.
Two thumbs down for critics. They missed this one just like they did for Riddick.
I heartedly recommend it to anyone.
The whole thing is paced just right, the villains are just bad enough, and the goodies are nobles with a roguish streak. The cheesy bits are mellowed with a dash of wry humor, and those that aren't: well, just take them, don't cringe and, again, have fun!
I came out of this movie smiling, as did my wife and elder daughter (that would make all of us into definite 'adults'). Since a smile was what we all wanted that day, we got exactly what we asked for.
This contrived tale is infectious as Cage's determination to be a hero among mortal men. This caper is held together with shards of comedy and a healthy helping of adventure. Bean seems flawless as the crafty villain. Rounding out the cast are: Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Mark Pellegrino and Christopher Plummer. This poor man's Indiana Jones romp proves harmless fun for all ages.
The plot to trying to find a lost treasure a clue to which is on the back of the Declaration of Independence is so beyond belief that its best to simply begin by throwing up your hands and accepting it for what it is. Certainly the cast has thrown reality to the wind and appears to be having a grand time.
My only complaint, and its what keeps me from saying you you should see this in a theater instead of renting it, is that the pacing is off. It needs a zipper pace to get us from A to B. Certainly it moves well, but there were times when I just wanted to to move a bit faster. Its a minor fault, but one that prevented me from really loving this.
7 out of 10. Definitely worth seeing, preferably for less than what they charge for a full price movie admission these days.
'National Treasure' Synopsis: A treasure hunter is in hot pursuit of a mythical treasure that has been passed down for centuries, while his employer turned enemy is onto the same path that he's on.
'National Treasure' is damn entertaining. There's hardly a moment when the pace dips, in fact, each & every sequence is absorbing & adventurous. Jim Kouf, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Cormac Wibberley & Marianne Wibberley's Screenplay is damn good! Jon Turteltaub's is excellent. Cinematography, Editing & Art Design, are top-notch!
Performance-Wise: Nicolas Cage shines in the lead role. Justin Bartha is superb & his comic timing is just perfect. Diane Kruger looks gorgeous, as always, & delivers a nice performance. The Amazing Jon Voight stands out. Sean Bean is fantastic as the antagonist. Harvey Keitel is stylish, while Christopher Plummer does his bit well.
On the whole, 'National Treasure' is A Winner All The Way.
Nicolas Cage stars as Ben Gates, a historian enthusiast in search for a mythical treasure dating back to the Crusades which has alleged switch locations overtime leaving several extensive clues to follow. The movie starts you off in the middle of Gate's quest in the Artic Circle, where he is double-crossed by one of his companions, Ian Howe (predictably played by Sean Bean who usually plays these shady, back-stabbing characters in "Goldeneye", "Troy", "Ronin" and "Don't Say a Word"), which ensues a race across America looking for the treasure and preserving history.
This movie has been deemed another "Indiana Jones" without the whip, leather hat and stereotypical Nazis. Instead, the movie really focuses on the implausible, puzzling clues that were left by our forefathers to guide future hunters to a hidden treasure map. The map itself is only half of the problems, as if/when it's discovered still needs to be deciphered. As implausible and unrealistic as the story, plot and Da Vince Code-like clues are, they are still pretty interesting and creative and keep the story going, leaving very few dry spots. As mentioned before it's more of a "Goonie" race between Gates and Bean, in which Gates is really trying to protect the certain historical landmarks, but both are actually gunning for the treasure with Bean using more "aggressive" tactics.
Cage, who usually get a little excited when he muddles through his cue cards, actually toned it downed a little bit making the film much more enjoyable. The writing is also pretty good that scarcely emits one-liners, but still adds a few comedic moments without distracting from the plot. The ending is also chewable that should alleviate any possible sequels and wraps everything up nicely.
Yes, this movie is practically inaccurate historically and contains more outrageous clues then "Tomb Raider" and "The Mummy" series combined, but take that with a grain of salt and just sit back an enjoy the film for it's creativity and overall satisfaction.
This film was well worth 2 hours of my time. ****/*****
Nicolas Cage plays good guy Benjamin Franklin Gates, a discredited historian as well as ex-Navy diver, who believes that America's Founding Fathers concealed a cache of loot amassed from other countries that constitutes our version of the Holy Grail. This high-concept premise would have been perfect for a Depression-era romantic comedy back in the 193Os. Anyway, Turteltaub and writers Jim Kouf of "Rush Hour" & "Operation Dumbo Drop" and Cormac & Marianne Wibberley of "I Spy," "The 6th Day," and "Bad Boys 2" lay out all the necessary exposition that audiences need to know in the first 15 minutes. Exposition is the information that the characters already know, but they have to discuss openly among themselves, so that audiences will understand what's happening. Once they've established their improbable premise, Turteltaub and company never look back. "National Treasure" barrels along like an old-fashioned Republic serial with its heroes and adversaries lunging intrepidly through one flaming hoop after another. As it turns out, our stalwart hero's crusade to uncover the hoard behind the Declaration of Independence has been something of an obsession to the Gates Clan. In the beginning, an adolescent Benjamin learns about the fabulous fortune from his grandfather (Christopher Plummer of "Dracula 2000") while his father Patrick (Jon Voight of "Ali") stands by and scoffs at the fable. Patrick Gates belittles the family quest as a pointless hunt that turns up nothing more than a trail of clues. Initially, the story takes Cage to the Arctic. Fellow treasure hunter Ian Howe (Sean Bean of "GoldenEye") and he discover an ancient ornate meerschaum pipe in a frozen-over, 19th century wooden sailing vessel. At this point, Howe double-crosses Gates and leaves our protagonist to perish in the icy, inhospitable wasteland. Naturally, our hero and his wise-cracking computer-whiz kid sidekick Riley Poole (Justin Bartha of "Gigli") escape death just by the hair of their chins. When our heroes learn that the Declaration of Independence contains a treasure map, Gates realizes that Howe, an unscrupulously wealthy Brit, will inevitably steal the document. (The anti-British sentiment in "National Treasure" may be the film's only lapse in political correctness.) Meanwhile, Riley and he alert the FBI and Washington conservator Dr. Abigail Chase (sexy Diane Kruger of "Troy"), but neither believe them anymore than anybody believed the old man when he cried 'wolf!' At this point, Gates decides to purloin the Declaration to protect it from Howe. The message here clearly is that the ends sometimes justify the means.
"National Treasure" ought to have been called "National Treasures." The adrenaline-laced action transpires at the National Archives, the Lincoln Memorial, Philadelphia's Independence Hall, New York's Wall Street Trinity Church, and the Old North Church in Boston. No sooner does our hero swipe the Declaration than he contends with not only the greedy Howe and his gun-toting minions, but also the National Archives conservator who refuses to let the document out of her sight. Gates, Chase, and Riley manage to stay one breathless step ahead of Howe's henchmen and the FBI headed up by Sadusky (Harvey Keitel of "Reservoir Dogs") until the last half of the movie when Howe gains the upper hand. Harvey Keitel appears to be channeling his Winston Wolfe character from "Pulp Fiction," with make-up designed to recall Johnny Depp from "Pirates of the Caribbean." Overall, Turteltaub confines violence to the absolute minimum, dispenses almost entirely with profanity, and shows nothing of an overtly sexual nature, typically the bread-and-butter of this type of pulse-pounding potboiler.
"National Treasure" doesn't hold up well to close scrutiny, but the characters are so charismatic and the storytelling so snappy that this popcorn thriller will have you cheering from the edge of your seat even though you know there's a happy ending in sight.
Nicolas Cage stars as Ben Gates, the latest in a long line of treasure hunters, who believes in a mythical treasure hidden by the founders of our country. Despite everyone believing him to be a joke, he continues his quest for the gold and is even able to secure financial backing to do so. In the movie's least convincing sequence (I can only suspend disbelief so far), he finds a clue in a Revolution-era war shiplocated in the middle of the Arctic! And only buried a few feet from the surface!! The screenplay explains that the ice sometimes pushes objects to the surface, but come on! That said, he discovers the map to the treasure is hidden on the back of the Declaration of Independence and his former financiers (led by Sean Bean) are out to steal it for themselves. This sets up the rest of the movie, full of action scenes that may not be original but are imaginative and well-executed. It's been a long while since a movie entertained me in such a way that I was not concerned about how long until it was over. I was actually disappointed to see this one end.
The acting is about what one would expect from a film of this kind. Cage is passable as the hero of the movie; he tends to reflect how good a movie is. He's good in good movies, fair in OK movies and horrible in bad movies. I liked his performance here; he lends a quiet shyness to the character that is entirely fitting. When he is thrust into action, he seems to do so only for the sake of preserving history. Bean makes for a perfect villain; deceptively friendly when he needs to be and perfectly menacing when the script demands it.
The action pieces are highly entertaining; I was surprised given that previously Turteltaub was better known for lightweight comedies or mid-level dramas. It looks as though he has found his calling. The stealing of the historic document that is the center of the movie is thrilling. But, the most fun sequences are the race to find a clue hidden in the buildings of Philadelphia that can only be found at a certain time of day due to the position of the sun; and the deep, hidden catacombs that hold the treasure.
The central mystery is purely fiction, but I am unsure of the facts that are used to propel the story. I imagine they are as well. The movie made me want to pop open a history book and find out.
The film packs lots of action,suspense,tension,pursuits and is pretty entertained.It's a crossover of Indiana Jones adventures and intrigue and mystery Da Vinci Code.In the movie there are rip roaring,derring-do, daring escapes and especial effects galore, is a cinematic roller coaster extremely funny with numerous scenes have you on the edge of your seat.It's a run a mill action picture because from the beginning to the ending, the fast movement and the unstopped action are continuous.Exciting and moving final confrontation is truly stirring.Enjoyable and colorful cinematography by Caleb Deschanel(Passion Christ by Gibson).Lively and spectacular music by Trevor Ravin.Dazzling action set pieces are stunningly mounted by director Jon Turteltaub.Nowadays similar equipment(Cage and Turteltaub) are shooting the second part. Rating : Better than average.It's a must see for the adventures fans and is indispensable and essential watching.