National Treasure

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight, Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, Justin Bartha

Director: Jon Turteltaub

For all his life Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) has incurred the ridicule of the treasure hunting community. Firstly because his father (Jon Voight) spent all his life chasing a series of clues that were handed down by his father (Christopher Plummer) and many generations before him. The clues that were supposed to lead him to a legendary treasure of mythical proportions in fact just led him to more clues and frustration. Secondly Benjamin has taken up the chase with not much success either – that is until now. As his current discovery leads him to an ancient ship that points him in the direction of the Declaration of Independence in the United States Of America, he soon finds himself fighting for his life as his partner and financier (Sean Bean) turns nasty on him and leaves him for dead. Knowing very well that his ex-partner intends to steal the historically priceless Declaration of Independence in order to uncover the final clue to the treasure, Benjamin decides as a last resort to take matters into his own hands and steal it himself before his ex-partner does. Benjamin’s plan works out fine but he is forced to include a National Archives conservator (Diane Kruger) in his chase to find the treasure along with his long time friend (Justin Bartha). The FBI in the form of Agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) are soon after Benjamin and his team, but as the situation gets more and more desperate Benjamin starts to take more and more risks to get to the treasure before his ruthless ex-partner can.

Jon Turteltaub has created an entertaining film that can be enjoyed by everyone. With a background in films like THE KID and PHENOMENON he might seem to be an unlikely choice for a big budget, Bruckheimer action/adventure film but he proves to be just right and not only directs but is also a producer. The movie has all the right ingredients – sufficient character development, light but thrilling action set pieces, slight dash of romance, reluctant father /son team, an unlikely hero, a funny sidekick and a misunderstood but not wholly bad nemesis. It is not Oscar material but it delivers all that it offers in the trailer and that definitely left me more than happy, in fact I would not be surprised if a sequel pops up some time in the near future.

Nicolas Cage proves his action hero status once again by playing his character as someone who is not exactly an adventurer but takes up the challenge to prove his point and to satisfy his life long ambition. The supporting cast all give top class performances and seem to be enjoying themselves as well which all adds to the positive feel of the film.

So if you want to have some good old fashioned, non-violent fun then get hunting for a cinema near you that’s showing this entertaining Bruckheimer treasure!

4 out of 6 stars

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