National Treasure (2004)

Genre: Action/Adventure, Kids

Cast: Nicholas Cage, John Voight, Sean Bean, Diane Kruger

Synopsis: Nicholas Cage plays a treasure hunter searching for long lost treasure and, in the process, goes around destroying and defacing priceless historical antiquities. Also, Sean Bean is in it. Doing what? Who cares!? It’s Sean mother-fucking Bean.

I’m not an archeologist. In fact, my expertise are so far removed from archeology that I can’t really say I know much of anything about it. But, if Tomb Raider has taught me anything, the lifestyle of an archeologist is an exciting one, full of guns, big boobs, and creepy butlers who follow you around your mansion until you’re forced lock him in the freezer. National Treasure follows this theme…only without the gigantic tits and the butler has been replaced with John Voight.

The premise is simple enough: Nicholas Cage wants to find treasure, follows a series of inane clues, steals the Declaration of Independence, finds more clues, tries not to get shot by Sean Bean. Winning recipe? It could have been, but it kind of fell flat.

Now, I love Nicholas Cage. Who could forget his tour de force portrayal of a cop with a bee sting allergy in The Wicker Man? In fact, Nicholas Cage movies are great to watch when you’re high because that’s the only time I really feel like I get what he’s about. When I’m not high his face just kind of creeps me out. Either way, I really wanted to like him in this movie but the writing kind of made it hard to do that.

Throughout the film it felt like absolutely nothing made sense. By that I mean that historically and scientifically it did not make sense. Within the first 10 minutes of the film we see Nicholas Cage deciphering a riddle found in a pipe on a boat in the Arctic Circle. Not implausible in itself but when he starts pulling answers to these riddles out his butt I just couldn’t keep up. “Maps have legends.” Say what? Suddenly he realizes that the Declaration of Independence is a map somehow, thanks to random key words. He is then complicit in the blowing up of a 200 year old boat.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was an archeologist’s job to protect old things and not destroy them. By the way the rest of the film pans out I can honestly say I was wrong in that assumption. This correction is fully cemented when he sprays the Declaration of Independence with citric acid. As a Brit, I can see the humour in this. Almost 250 years later and I’m still bitter about it. However, American viewers should be outraged. THAT’S YOUR FREEDOM HE’S ERODING AWAY!

For me, the biggest disappointment with the film was that it was Disney. I don’t know why I didn’t realize this before I started watching it but there you have it. I guess I was hoping for something a little grittier like Taken. In fact this movie could have done with a little Liam Neeson take-no-prisoners mentality. Instead it was too child-like. That should have been expected considering it’s a kids’ movie but, then again, I was pretty baked. I wanted Nicholas Cage to crack some skulls, not priceless antiques.

High-lights:

  • Sean Bean. I love him. Enough said.
  • The sound track was butt-twitchingly patriotic. It made me want to shout “MURICA” at the top of my lungs.
  • The paradoxes are brilliant. Nicholas Cage: “I’m not going to let you steal the Declaration of Independence”…..subsequently steals the Declaration of Independence. It’s like a meme that wrote itself.

Downers:

  • Too childish.
  • Some of the riddles and their answers made no sense. Or maybe they did and I was just too out of it to notice.
  • John Voight’s wig in the opening scene. It was the stuff nightmares are made of.

Summary:

Overall it’s not a terrible film and I can see why it’s popular with a lot of people. It’s fun and kind of lighthearted but it lacks hardcore action. It’s definitely not a film to watch on your own. Maybe if you’re with a one or more of your favourite frients it would be more enjoyable. Also, the film would probably be more enjoyable with an indica high. If the high is too cerebral you’ll probably notice just how crazy some of the dialogue is which will detract from the fact it’s an ok action movie.

5/10

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1 Comment

Filed under Action/Adventure, Kids, Meh

One response to “National Treasure (2004)

  1. In America, things don’t have to make sense, what’s important is the overall ‘cool’ factor! =)

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