Projections - Movie Reviews

National Treasure
National Treasure
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean,
Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel and Christopher Plummer

Nicolas Cage’s fourth outing with hugely successful producer Jerry Bruckheimer isn't really mindless escapist fare.

National Treasure isn't that much more of an action flick than the letdown of Bruckheimer’s King Arthur and it suffers most from the choice of director. Jon Turteltaub excelled in While You Were Sleeping and Phenomenon, but here he tries to swiftly cut his way into the likes of Armageddon. Michael Bay he is not, but he deliberately and somewhat energetically gets the audience into the milieu of the Free Masons’ lost treasure.

Much of the film’s comic relief is provided by Benjamin’s computer savvy colleague, Riley Poole, acted by Justin Bartha who was subjugated to the disaster know as Gigli. Ben and Riley will be left for dead by another partner, Ian Howe (Sean Bean) who plans to pilfer the Declaration of Independence. An escape after an icy explosion filmed in Park City, Utah Ben goes on a mission to steal the Declaration of Independence. And part of this film with chases and plenty of long-winded social studies clues involves Benjamin and Riley on the run with National Archives curator Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger of Troy). They must stay ahead of the sinister Howe and his minions as well as the FBI.

Turteltaub’s film may feel stretched out for some, especially in the middle but it’s fairly engaging even as the film is billed somewhat like Tomb Raider and has a little of the feel of Indiana Jones. Jon Voight isn't in top form as Ben’s father who may be holding some of the missing pieces to the puzzle and Harvey Keitel is on board as the lead agent who’ll have something to say about the legend. This scavenger hunt filled with history and information has plenty of people and documents on its mind like one New England Courant back in 1738. And it glows nicely in a subterranean way below a church and in a fairly taut climax while keeping its cheeky humor intact.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Howard
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
National Treasure
B
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