ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – N – National Treasure (2004) Movie Review

National Treasure – Fun Adventure Film

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Writer: Jim Kouf, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley (Screenplay) Jim Kouf, Oren Aviv, Charles Segars (Story)

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

Plot: A historian races to find the legendary Templar Treasure before a team of mercenaries.

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: National Treasure starts as Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage) has finally located the latest clue in the location of a lost Templar treasure, a treasure generations of his family have searched for, his partner Ian Howe (Bean) has other plans and wants to eliminate Ben from the process, leading to the double cross.

Benjamin teams up with Riley Poole (Bartha) his tech expert to steal the Declaration of Independence which has a secret map to the treasure before Ian, getting expert Abigail Chase (Kruger) involved in the capture of the legendary map.

Thoughts on National Treasure

Characters & Performances – Benjamin Franklin Gates learnt about the treasures of the Templar as a child and has spent his career searching for clues about the treasure and finally, he has got closer than before, he now needs to steal the Declaration of Independence in a race against time to complete his family’s legacy. He must use his intelligence to stay ahead of another man trying to get the treasure for his own good profit. Nicolas Cage is great in this role, where he gets to bring us a fresh new treasure hunter figure like we have seen before. Abigail Chase works as the curator of archives watching over the Declaration, she isn’t convinced by the story Ben gives her, only to find herself caught up in the middle of the chase to unlock the clues. She ends up enjoying the search and being part of the team. Diane Kruger plays this role well, working wonderfully with Cage throughout the film. Riley Poole is the tech partner of Benjamin, just joining him on the mission, he gets the smart lines that will give us the laughs throughout the film. Justin Bartha gives the lighter note to the film, which is required to take away from the serious side behind the treasure hunt. Ian Howe is the man that is financing the treasure hunt, but he is getting tired of searching with clues and will turn to the more criminal ways to get the treasure, trying to outplay Benjamin through the adventure. Sean Bean as the villainous figure is always going to be good in any film he steps into the role. We do also have the FBI chasing down Benjamin and his father Patrick that has always pushed him to give up the hunt for the treasure.

StoryThe story here follows a treasure hunter that has been searching for his family’s legacy which has seen his name tarnished, but now he has found the biggest clue to date, which will see him needing to race to the treasure before a man that just wants it for his own profit. When it comes to the treasure hunting films, we have always had the Indiana Jones movies, National Treasure turns everything in a different direction, which will focus more on the history of the treasure, which will give us a mystery that is revolves around the different famous locations in America. The chemistry between the three in the hunt is good and everything comes off very smooth throughout the story.

ThemesNational Treasure is an adventure movie that could be seen as a modern Indiana Jones, with how the clues lead Benjamin to the next location, each clue means something to history, the locations are important, as they will give us the different locations that include the history filled with clues.

National Treasure is a truly enjoyable adventure film, filled with history and Nicolas Cage on top of his game.

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