Thursday, May 05, 2005

Movie time, with Del

For my most recent viewing adventure, I decided on the newly released National Treasure.



The very original plot sends a treasure-seeking adventurer, Nicolas Cage, and his sidekick in search of "the largest treasure ever". By piecing together clues they find along the way, they make their way closer and closer to the prize. Along the way they team up with a pretty young blonde girl played by Diane Kruger, who played Helen in the recent movie Troy, and they even manage to drag the adventurer's father, Jon Voight, into the quest.

Hmm... That is a great new idea for a movie! I'm sure people won't remember that they saw it 14 years ago... (with better actors)


The story has our hero believing that an invisible treasure map is drawn on the back of the Declaration of Independence. The only problem is you can't just waltz up to the D.o.I. and flip it over. So naturally, the smartest thing to do is STEAL IT! It is during this process that Cage, who is gimmickly named "Ben Franklin" Gates (gimmie a break), meets up with the head of the National Archives, Kruger. Now don't get me wrong, I very much enjoyed watching hot little Diane Kruger strut around, but you can't tell me that a 28 year-old is going to be the HEAD OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES! That spot is clearly held for a 65+ man who is the pal of some Senator. But I'll let that slide. Let's move on to my next complaint.

So Cage is determined to steal the Declaration and manages to do so very easily making the US Government security guards look like the Keystone Cops. Nice try. I don't buy it. But whatever makes the movie go right? Then he rolls it up like a dorm room poster and carries it around in a blueprint tube while he's running, jumping, diving, falling and fighting. At one point he even knocks a guy out with it. When the Declaration's not in the tube, someone's got it rolled up and stuffed in their coat like a newspaper. I'm really surprised that Cage never shoved it down his pants so the "witty screenwriters" could say "Is that a Declaration in your pants or are you just happy to see me?"

Now, I will give credit where credit is due. National Treasure manages to draw you in because it was filmed at the actual places many of us have been to personally. For example, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Washington D.C., etc... It was cool to see the movie's action scenes taking place on the same sidewalks I have walked down before. It added a sense of relationship to the film. And being a bit of a history nerd myself, I enjoyed the settings. Special effects where flawless and I wouldn't have even picked them out if I didn't watch the DVD bonus features.

All in all, this was a good movie, less the plot idea. I think they could have done a bit more with it, but it was entertaining. I never lost interest, and I don't think I would have even without Kruger being cast. As I said earlier, the thing that saves this movie is the proximity to "home" that it takes place in rather than some parched desert. I was pleasantly surprised for a PG movie. I give it 2/3 out of a full box of popcorn.