National Treasure (2004)

National-Treasure

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Ludicrous, but Fun

To watch, or not to watch, that is the question. Every time Mr. Nicolas Cage lights up the silver screen, he has a lot of rough criticism aimed at his direction. While I can understand to a degree, some of his movies are really out there, I can appreciate the man’s style. Seriously, there is no one out there like him, he is absolutely unique. I think if we all learned to appreciate the man, we’d all start to like his movies better. Is National Treasure a brilliant film? Absolutely not, it’s off-the-wall bonkers, but it is really fun to watch.

Made by the people who brought us Pirates of the Caribbean, we have a story to do with the treasures of treasures, National Treasure. A little background – this had a lot to do with secret societies, freemasons, and the foundation of our land. Those of you who have watched or have read The Da Vinci Code, the treasure in that story is one in the same as National Treasure. Both stories are strikingly similar – they just take place in different parts of the world, and just have two different pieces of history with hidden messages on them that started off the story. In this film, Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) has been searching for a treasure all of his life, like his ancestors before him. He finds out that his crazy ex-partner (Sean Bean) is going to go on a violent streak to beat him to the treasure, so in order to stop him, he must steal the Declaration of Independence. From there, he and his team find and follow clues that may or may not end at the room of treasures.

Look, it’s almost impossible to compare this film to The Da Vinci Code, because you can make some really great comparisons. The reason why this movie seems to be better than the movie based one of the best sellers ever is because The Da Vinci Code doesn’t work as a movie…it’s redundant. They try to fit in all of these factual things, and it starts to feel like a documentary with high-paced action music. This movie didn’t start off a novel, so they didn’t feel an obligation to put in too much stuff. It was pretty straight-forward, actually. Here’s some interesting factoids, let’s move onto something else completely outrageous.

Because they had no obligation to follow a novel, they had no obligation to continue on a realistic path. Everything in the movie is bull crap – completely made up (other than the freemasons). They made all this up just to appeal to a younger audience who doesn’t care to see a factual thriller. They knew they were making a movie just for fun, and they didn’t care. Because of that, I can watch it freely and not care how stupid it really is. I’m serious…it’s so stupid, but it’s just so fun.

The actors are funny and charming, the music is upbeat and catchy, and even though the clues make no sense whatsoever, you still want to see how it plays out. No they didn’t try very hard to be realistic, but who cares? No, stealing the Declaration of Independence is not just like skipping out at a restaurant without paying the bill, even if they did make it seem that easy in the movie.

Some movies don’t try to be Oscar-worthy…and that’s fine. Just have fun with it, people. Sometimes you are allowed to lay back and enjoy a movie without having any expectations, and this is a perfect film for that. Heck, they are making National Treasure 3 currently (I believe), so some people had to like it.

Watch it.

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