I loved this movie. It may be far-fetched, but the characters have such conviction in what they are doing and director Jon Turteltaub has filmed it in such an exciting fashion that it succeeds in being a fanciful entertainment and my favorite film of 2004.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 <more>
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 best adventurous thriller (by therealsagar_007)
I've recently seen the movie and i was just kinda feel that i was all waiting thru my whole life perhaps to see this movie.i mean who could u ever think of Benjamin gates other than Nicolas cage making a perfect chemistry with the stunning diane kruger taking all of us to the greatest adventurous ride.i guess its a must watch film for everybody out there.the most important thing about this movie is that coming all the way down with every clue there's seemed to be more clues which is obviously logical and very very relevant to the story.stealling the declaration of independence which <more>
may sounds a bit weird is another interesting part of the movie.there's has been a perfect combintion of comedy by the character played by Justin bartha which i guess has been well executed.
It had everything I wanted out of an action film! (by sethn172)
Thank you very, very much, Disney, for making your 2004 holiday season much better than your 2003 holiday season! Anyways, here's the reason. Two words: National Treasure. This is one of my favorite films in fact, it's my favorite New Disney film and one of my favorite action films ! Why? Well, first off, this is an action film that just about anybody can watch! Well, it's Disney and it's PG, right? Second, the whole path of this film flows extremely well - not only do we go up the East Coast after twenty minutes into the film or so, but the idea of finding a huge treasure - <more>
which had taken pretty much all of time just to get here - sounds exciting! In fact, this movie is so good that not only was I excited about waiting for the DVD, but I always tell my family to rent this every time we upgrade our living room entertainment center: They get a new DVD/VCR combo, I ask them if they could rent this movie; they get a new widescreen TV, I ask them if they could rent this movie! Maybe when they get a 5.1 system I highly doubt that will happen , I'll ask them for it again! Yes, it's that great!
This one gets my vote for the most enjoyable flick of 2004 together with The Indredibles . You'd think it's just for kiddies, but any adult capable of just going to the cinema to enjoy themselves should be able to sit back, gobble the popcorn, suck the straw, nibble on the ice- cream and just have a couple of hours of unproblematic maniawith good and bad guys, daring thefts, lost treasures, romance, chases, near escapes, disasters and rescues and everything you'd expect in this kind of Bruckheimer production. The whole thing is paced just right, the villains are just bad <more>
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.
An entertaining movie for the whole family (by thegoauld-1)
**********SPOILER WARNING************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 <more>
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 is a great and entertaining adventure movie, despite the NY Times critic and others. I think critics write to amuse themselves, not to critique a movie on its main importance "entertainment".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 <more>
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
Excellent movie vastly underrated by critics (by peter0105)
I went to see four movies this week Birth, Incredible, Bridget, and this one, National Treasure . 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.
Better than I had expected (by KCwordguy)
"National Treasure" seemed the most innocuous of the offerings at the discount house, and one of the kids had been agitating to see it for a month or so. I gave in.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. <more>
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.
Cage's best white-knuckled actioneer since "Con-Air" (by zardoz-13)
The only characters missing from director John Turteltaub's "National Treasure" *** out of **** are Scooby Doo and Casper, the Friendly Ghost. Otherwise, this lightweight but entertaining 'live-action' Walt Disney-produced adventure opus about an invisible treasure map on the flip-side of the Declaration of Independence lands somewhere between an Indiana Jones cliff-hanger and an bloodless "A-Team" TV episode. The people who made "National Treasure" have recycled every cliché in the 'quest-for-buried-treasure genre' and borrowed ideas from <more>
bestsellers ranging from "Raise The Titanic" to "The Da Vinci Code" to make this harmless hokum about the exploits of the Knights Templar and the Free Masons. After suffering through a string of box office losers, including "Windtalkers," "Matchstick Men," and "Adaptation," actor Nicolas Cage finally has another hit under his belt, thanks largely to "Pirates of the Caribbean" producer Jerry Bruckheimer. "National Treasure" amounts to an anthology of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew stories with grown-up go-getters. "National Treasure" ranks as Cage's best white-knuckled actioneer since "Con-Air." Anybody looking for ideal Thanksgiving Day fare will find few faults with the kid-friendly, PG-rated "National Treasure," unless you think about what you watch while you watch it. Sure, "National Treasure" is hopelessly unrealistic, overwhelmingly unconvincing, and predictable from start to finish, but the chemistry conjured up between cast members, especially Cage and leading lady Diane Kruger as well as Jon Voight as his quarrelsome father, make this tongue-in-cheek tale downright fun to watch. At times, "National Treasure" acts like a 1930's screwball comedy masquerading as a sophisticated heist caper. Best of all, director John Turteltaub of "Instinct" and "Phenomenon" keeps this 100-minute melodrama moving at a whiplash pace with hyperbolic heroics occurring in every other scene. Okay, its credibility strained to the breaking point, "National Treasure" huffs and puffs through its last quarter hour to deliver its inevitable happy ending, with a chance for a sequel.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.