National Treasure

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating:Rated PG for action violence and some scary images
Starring:Nicholas Cage, Justin Bartha, John Voight
Directed By:Johnathan Turteltaub

Final Grade:

I always hated history. I remember one of my teachers telling me that history is important. Why is history important I remember asking him. I pointed out that No one is ever going to point a gun at my head and say that unless I can give them the answer to “how many lanterns meant the British were coming by land or sea” they would pop a bullet in my head. He just laughed and said, I think you are missing the point, a scenario like that is only something that would happen in a silly movie. Turns out years later it turns out he just may have been right.

National Treasure hit theaters this week, and with it comes a new adventure for Nicholas Cage. The eccentric actor plays Benjamin Gates, a treasure hunter who has made it a lifelong quest to find the ultimate treasure. Ben’s grandfather told him stories of a lost treasure that could only be found by following a string of clues left behind on National monuments, old artifacts and even US currency. Now a grown man Ben is determined to find the treasure before any one else.

National Treasure is the quirky family film that only a man like producer Jerry Bruckhiemer could provide. Directed by John Turteltaub, the flick is lighthearted fairly non-violent action adventure that works quite well on the big screen. It flows easily from scene to scene with colorful characters and an interesting story filled with historical facts. National Treasure is what would happen if you took The 80’s classic “Goonies” and tried to mix it with any “Indiana Jones” film. The result is some good old fashion fun that reminds you sometimes you don’t need big explosions, lots of gunfights and language in order to have a good film.

Nicholas Cage as always is great in this flick. You can tell he is really enjoying the role. His quirky antics and overacting that he does in every film works extremely well in this flick. His sidekick, Justin Bartha, also does a great job and the dorky sidekick that every adventure film has in one shape or form. Confused by who this actor was, I was surprised to find that his filmography included playing the Mentally handicapped kid in Gigli. He is a great addition to this film and it just goes to show that at least one good thing came out of Gigli. Well that’s a stretch, but sort of at least.

While National Treasure is fun to watch it does have a few problems. The story is cliched, cookie cutter and utterly ridiculous at parts. If you disengage your mind though you should be more than fine. And of course every film needs a villain, and National Treasure uses the dueling Treasure Hunter idea that has been used in other films. Of course Benjamin is in it for the science and the history, and relies on his love of history and just his all around charm to unlock the treasure’s secret, while his rival is in it for the money and will use whatever means necessary to find the treasure. We’ve seen it many times before, but it seems really cheesy in this one.

But in the end, National Treasure is a lot of fun. I had a lot more fun watching this film than I ever imagined. I was having an extremely stressful day when I went into the theater and I managed to lose myself, my worries and cares away in this flick. If you are looking for a mindless way to escape from it all, go check out National Treasure. While it is a bit cheesy, it’s a lot of fun.

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