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Movie Review: National Treasure

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Somewhere deep under the Hollywood Hills, Jerry Bruckheimer has a giant blender. Into that blender Mr. Bruckheimer threw a copy of Raiders of the Last Ark, an American History text that was missing a few pages, a few giant snowcats, some bulletproof glass, a touch of poppy sarcasm, and just for good measure, Jon Voight, Sean Bean and Nick Cage.

Out of this mishy-mash came National Treasure.

The ingredients might not sound wonderful together, but the sum is surely greater than its parts, providing you the viewer are willing to check your cynicism at the door with the be-vested high school ticket taker.

The film, which follows one family’s quest for a hidden treasure (is there any other kind?) of mythic proportions (the only kind worth making a movie about), is a frolicsome, if innaccurate, romp through American history and will certainly entertain most audience members.

As the film opens, we find Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage) and Ian Howe (Bean) rocketing across the Arctic ice fields in enormouse treaded vehicles in search of a lost ship called the Charlotte. Within the Charlotte lies the next clue to the mystery that is the National Treasure, a collection of antiquities and fineries built up from Solomon’s time, preserved by the Masonic founding fathers, and valued somewhere North of $10 billion.

As with most films about large sums of money, Deadly Sin #5 kicks in and everybody wants more of an impossibly large fortune, leading, of course, to tension, high-speed chases and historical intrigue.

The film, though far-fetched and formulaic at the same time, is well-executed and is well worth the matinee money you put up for it, particularly if you have kids whose interest in history you’d like to pique. And while it is certainly guilty of embellishing U.S. history, it does so with what I would almost call reverance, leading viewers to a desire to know more of our great country, and perhaps an opportunity to reflect upon the real importance of Her founding documents.

If you’re looking for a fun film that is kid safe and engaging throughout, and you are willing to overlook some historical and mathematical impossibilities, you will enjoy National Treasure. Just don’t expect to learn much.

7.7 / 10

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  • Eric Olsen

    Great job Jeremy, thanks! Very descriptive. I think I would enjoy this a lot and I’m glad you mostly did.

  • It was a very enjoyable film. I would definitely recommend it.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Boys, National Treasure was the biggest piece of shit I ever did see. It just made me wish I could watch Raiders of the Lost Ark again. That’s the perverse beauty of this here Jerry Bruckheimer. He reminds you of about 30 better previous films, but there’s a slight aftertase, sort of like pink Peeps.

    I have a stomach ache.

    Actually, if you can get past the fact that it’s utterly predictable, not particularly exciting, wastes a ton of very good actors and has a story hook that was created during a brief power lunch – well hell, for those who just don’t care, you might have a good time. When the end credits finally began to roll, I was gone in 60 seconds.

  • DB

    How do you *really* feel?

  • Eric Olsen

    so we aren’t looking at two thumbs up?

  • D.B. Cooper


    I loved the lead in this blog Jeremy. Watching National Treasure reminded me of a very old quote from a very old actor named Robert Shaw – God rest his soul. He was starring in some 1977 piece of crap called The Deep, about treasure hunting, giant eels and Jacqueline Bisset’s panty line. It was one of Nick Nolte’s first starring roles in a film, and he was complaining to Shaw saying essentially, “Man, this film is a big piece of shit.”

    Shaw drunkenly replied, “It’s a treasure movie Nick. A fucking treasure movie. Loosen up!”

  • MCH

    D.B. Cooper…Two questions: 1) How the hell did you surive that jump? and 2) Did you ever spend all that ransom money?

  • Eric Olsen

    and, how do you feel about Treat Williams’s portrayal of you in the classic “In Pursuit of D.B. Cooper”

  • D.B. Cooper

    Very carefully


    I would have preferred Al Pacino.