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Overall Rating
3.11

Awesome: 19.84%
Worth A Look: 20.63%
Just Average: 23.02%
Pretty Crappy23.81%
Sucks: 12.7%

9 reviews, 72 user ratings


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National Treasure
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by Lybarger

"Keep this one buried."
2 stars

The latest offering from action specialist producer Jerry Bruckheimer is predictably short in the character and logic departments, but what’s most disconcerting about the movie is that it’s an escapist movie that feels more like the history lectures you used to sleep through during school.

Admittedly, National Treasure has a fun, if derivative (part DaVinci Code, part Masonic conspiracy) setup.

Suppose that our Founding Fathers, through their involvement with the Freemasons, had procured and hidden a massive fortune of antiquities from around the world and placed the invaluable ancient payload somewhere in the continental United States.

To conceal this bounty, the Fathers left some clues that only those deeply familiar with Masonic rituals and lore could figure them out and placed them in very public documents and locations.

The latter is a bit of a master stroke because documents like the Declaration of Independence are so well known and protected that most people wouldn’t think to look for the hidden signs, and those who knew of them would have great difficulty even getting to the important papers.

For treasure hunter Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage), this potential find is significant for more than fiduciary value because for decades his family has maintained the fortune existed despite only fragmentary evidence to the contrary.

The matter becomes urgent when a former benefactor (Sean Bean) turns on him when he and Ben begin unraveling the serpentine trail.

Ben should have known better. Wasn’t he aware that in Hollywood movies people with British accents are inherently villainous?

Needless to say, Ben now has to prevent Declaration of Independence and other documents from being swiped and discarded along with the treasure itself. The only way he can do that is by stealing the Declaration himself.

For that task, he enlists the only partner in his previous expedition left (Justin Bartha), his father (Jon Voight) and a government expert (Diane Kruger, Troy). As one might expect in a Bruckheimer flick, the expert is a gorgeous blonde who has managed to acquire her massive erudition despite being well under the age of thirty. The explanation of Kruger’s German accent (at least that’s real) is also a bit of a giggle inducer as well.

Had director Jon Turteltaub (Instinct) aimed more squarely for laughs the impossibilities wouldn’t seem so jarring. Instead, the film’s earnestness gets corny. Even actors as skilled as Voight and Cage can't do much with committee script that piles on more platitudes that a Steven Covey book.

If you want jingoist grandstanding that's intentionally funny, Team America: World Police is a better bet. Even though it is a blistering parody of Bruckheimer's usual guns and glory cinema, it has more engaging action scenes than this one does. The sets look cheap, and Jon Turteltaub has little sense of pacing or screen composition.

Like most Bruckheimer movies, this one begins with a lightning bolt. After a few minutes, one wishes it had struck the producer himself.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11158&reviewer=382
originally posted: 11/19/04 01:41:46
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User Comments

3/30/11 TG It might be silly and plotholed, but it's genuinely fun and extremely rewatchable. 5 stars
2/19/11 Ark FINALLY! Someone else hates this turkey as much as me! 1 stars
12/25/09 Jeff Wilder Not bad popcorn entertainment. 3 stars
11/01/09 Greg needed patriotism from anti-american hollywood 5 stars
10/07/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome story! 5 stars
5/22/08 PAUL SHORTT A BIG, OVERBLOWN WAZOO OF ABSURDITY 1 stars
2/12/08 Irisea I just have to say that i really love this movie!! 5 stars
12/24/07 Matt wow..... I blame the da vinci code for this load. I want the last two hours of my life back 1 stars
11/23/07 Thomas Semesky Watchable but rather silly. You have to suspend all reasoning. 3 stars
9/18/07 j-bird it was really good 4 stars
6/03/07 Stuck In Left Yeah flawed but watchable/enjoyable enough 3 stars
5/27/07 Whitely My favorite Movie Ever! You have to watch it! 5 stars
4/14/07 R.W.Welch Too contrived to have much impact. Average acting. 3 stars
3/26/07 kathy underheart childress strokes his cock again and thinks he's the funniest man in the world 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Rollicking, cheer-the-heroes adventure. 4 stars
2/01/07 Pam Fantastic! 5 stars
12/26/06 Parker H. Smock National Treasure is a government input to Hollywood fantasy wake movie about 9/11 5 stars
9/04/06 Jarkko Perälä Really, really boring 2 stars
9/01/06 the producer it made over 500 million doallrs 4 stars
6/15/06 Michele fun and clever 4 stars
5/21/06 Diane P this was very entertaining and really enjoyable 4 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer It's American History 101 made... AWESOME!!! 5 stars
3/09/06 Dk Patchy as hell but damned good fun to 3 stars
2/10/06 Anthony This is Indiana Jones with Nicholas Cage 3 stars
1/06/06 Michael Silly story ... good movie 4 stars
12/19/05 Quigley this was a great caper movie. good action and acting, but plot was kinda empty-headed 5 stars
12/14/05 none of your bissnes good 3 stars
12/08/05 millersxing Exploring secret societies often makes for serpentine yet silly plots. 2 stars
10/25/05 Frank Rountree Good story. Pace moves well 4 stars
10/11/05 Jennifer Free A lot of fun and clean. Great family film! 5 stars
10/03/05 Aldo not bad...much than sahara..but not as good as indiana Jones 4 stars
9/12/05 i wont tell you very boring movie 1 stars
8/16/05 Dan Not bad... it's better than 80% of the crap Hollywood released last year 4 stars
7/15/05 tony Not a bad film. in fact, i liked it. 4 stars
6/14/05 JFK damn patriotism!!!! USA sucks and this movie tries to make the ancestors good people. 2 stars
6/07/05 Helen Bradley Not worth a look boring 1 stars
6/05/05 Daniel Myers This movie is really cool! I love it! If you dont like it you dont get it! 5 stars
5/31/05 Jiz Kinda boring, weak plot. "I have connections" = "I figured you out in a scene they deleted" 3 stars
5/27/05 Quigley whoever doesn't like this film is a dope. greatly entertaining, but suspend disbelief 5 stars
5/12/05 edsandiego2 I love the DVD and the special feature. 4 stars
5/07/05 Valerie Cool movie. 4 stars
5/04/05 Dan Pretty good! 5 stars
4/30/05 Steve Newman easy film - no brain ache - I enjoyed it (on a 757 from USA) 4 stars
4/29/05 Nobody This is an awesome action/adventure, the Da Vinci code meets Indiana Jones 5 stars
4/23/05 allnight9 Looking from a family stand point this is a great movie to take the kids to 4 stars
4/16/05 iteachpc Loved it! 5 stars
2/01/05 Charlie Only okay because Nic was in it! 3 stars
1/27/05 Flicker I thought this movie was a good way to spend a cold afternoon at the theater. Liked it!! 4 stars
1/26/05 Sumie It a good movie, it makes you think, watch it! 5 stars
1/17/05 Dave M Not high art, but entertaining; appreciate it's something you can take a family to see 4 stars
1/09/05 Brett Mindless fun, a little predictable, but good 4 stars
1/08/05 burton miller unbelievable, clunky, dumb 1 stars
12/16/04 Jenny from Da block This movie kicks ass! 5 stars
12/15/04 Ranting Madman Stupid beyond measure. Another Schlockheimer triumph. 1 stars
12/13/04 Ron Dumlao not a must-see film, but i nonetheless had fun 3 stars
12/12/04 bobby da squid Awkward dialogue, absurd plot, intrusive music. Not horrible, but very mediocre 2 stars
12/10/04 Aboud A Da Vinci Code wannabe. The 'clues' arent as clever as they could have been. 2 stars
12/09/04 willliam pond excellent; you critics are certainly of of touch with main stream movie watchers 4 stars
12/04/04 Lord Jiggy Low expectations were rewarded with fun, if derivative, romp. 4 stars
12/02/04 gray BS storyline 1 stars
11/30/04 RogueJS Interesting, but too Disney-ized. It could have been dark & thought-provoking, i.e. better 3 stars
11/26/04 Destiny Pifer This was a awesome adventure movie! 5 stars
11/25/04 Vicky The purpose of films is to be entertaiining, and this one was. Great 5 stars
11/24/04 Megan National Treasure is a really cool movie cause I luv history espesially egypt & ben frank 5 stars
11/24/04 KingNeutron Sean Bean 0wnz0red this movie. And the 3D stuff *was* pretty cool. 4 stars
11/23/04 John Very interesting; very informative 5 stars
11/22/04 linda It's fun 5 stars
11/21/04 Bell Girl What a waste of money. More brainless dribble from Hollywood. Yipppeee 2 stars
11/21/04 Heath If you're looking for something fun, then a treasure you'll find in this movie. 5 stars
11/20/04 Meryl I'm a history major, and therefore found it quite a fun romp. 5 stars
11/20/04 Kristina Williams Nicolas Cage is no longer relevant 1 stars
11/19/04 impartial judgement nicolas cage needs to retire w/his underage wife 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Nov-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 03-May-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Nov-2004




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