a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents National Treasure, The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha and Sean Bean.
Per IMDb: “A historian races to find the legendary Templar Treasure before a team of mercenaries.”
The (almost) always awful Nick Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates who is in the family tradition, a historian and amateur cryptologist that is searching for artifacts and other lost treasure. This treasure was accumulated by looters, thugs and warriors from Ancient Egypt on up to about the American Revolutionary War and hidden by American Freemasons. It turns out that the last, or at least next piece of the treasure puzzle is in the form of a map (hidden via secret code) on the back of the Declaration of Independence points to the location of the historical loot. But, Gates isn’t the only treasure seeker involved in this hunt. So, there’s a race, some back stabbing and some romance in order to secure, steal and obtain the Declaration of Independence. It’s a deadly game and thrills abound. Not exactly, but it seemed cool to say.
I know I make fun of Nick Cage a lot but he’s really not all that sucky in this film. It’s not the greatest film ever, by any stretch, but it’s Disney and they do have a flair for the dramatic. They push adventure, sometimes to a flaw, but this was pretty interesting. I am not a huge fan of American history, as I’d rather study and learn World History, from about 3500BC until about the dawn of America, if I have my druthers. But, I do find conspiracy theories and clandestine activities like secret societies, organized crime and things like that, very interesting to me.
Sean Bean, who plays a great heavy was in his element here. Jon Voigt plays Ben’s dad Patrick Henry Gates and Christopher Plummer plays his grandfather, John Adams Gates. They like famous names, I guess. Those veteran actors are shining stars in this film. Nothing too overly cerebral but, it’s not too dumbed down. Is it possible? Yeah, the scenarios are a little over the top. Is it plausible? Eh. Probable? Definitely not. But, again, it’s Disney and they do that. They entertain whilst not necessarily asking you to check your brain at the door. And, that’s exactly what it is: entertaining. It should be noted that the soundtrack songs were written by popular studio musician and former guitarist for Yes, Trevor Rabin.
Rotten Tomatoes has it at 44% Fresh (ouch!) with an audience score of 76% That’s a serious jump, 32%, showing that it can be fun without being too thought provoking. Rotten Tomatoes rating includes the “critics consensus:” “National Treasure is no treasure, but it’s a fun ride for those who can forgive its highly improbable plot.” IMDb has it at 6.9 stars out of 10. Again, closer to the audience score of Rotten Tomatoes. I saw this film on Netflix and recommend it for a family film or if you just have some time to kill. If you’re looking for something intensely deep, look elsewhere. If you just need something to pass the time, then this could fit the bill. Granted that sequels aren’t always the mark of a great film, there were two of them.
Have you seen the film? Let me know what you think. And send me some recommendations for something to review in the future.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“If there’s something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.” – Ben Gates (Cage)