REVIEW REWIND: National Treasure (2004)
Updated: Jul 19
The last film on my latest watch list is National Treasure. Yeah. I know. It's crazy that I haven't seen it yet. It has just always eluded me. But, I'm glad to finally watch it because I know I understand why people thought I was crazy. I absolutely loved it.
The film starts out in 1974 when young Ben Gates finds out about the Knights Templar and the treasure they were guarding. The secret was told to one of his ancestors and every male in his family since has searched for the treasure to no avail. When Ben (Nicholas Cage) gets older, he makes it his life's mission to find this treasure. When he and his benefactor Ian Howe (Sean Bean) discover that the map to the treasure is on the back of the Declaration of Indepedence, Ben refuses to help steal it. Ian then double crosses Ben and leaves him and his friend Riley (Justin Bartha) for dead.
They go to Washington, DC and try to tell the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security about the plan to steal the Declaration of Independence, but nobody believes them. They then turn to Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) from the National Archives who also doesn't believe them. So, Ben decides to steal the Declaration of Independence himself to save it from Ian.
When they try to steal it, Ben bumps into Abigail who is suspicious of him. She tracks him down and realizes what he's done. She then gets involved with Ben and Riley and their mission to find the treasure all while staying ahead of Ian and his gang. Their chases lead them through Washington, DC to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the catacombs of Trinity Church in New York Ciity. Each step gets more exciting.
This film kept me on the edge of my seat as they figured out each and every clue. Nicholas Cage is an acquired taste, but, once you realize he'll always just be Nicholas Cage, he can be quite charming. And, he had a great chemistry with Diane Kruger...and with Justin Bartha for that matter. Bean is great as the villain and John Voigt is fun as Ben's father Patrick. But, the best performance, to me, is the great Christopher Plummer as Ben's grandfather. Plummer role is small, but a powerful one.
I don't know how they managed to think of all the clues, but they were quite clever. And, it was a treat to be taken over much of America's northeast. Of course, there are moments that make you raise your eyebrow, but it's best not to think too much. This is the kind of movie that you just want to have your tub of popcorn and soda to munch away while having fun. It's the perfect Sunday afternoon film.
Now on to create a new watch list!