16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2006
National Treasure is a fun, family orientated action adventure, nothing more, nothing less. All the usual bits are here, the romantic interest, the humourous sidekick, father-son reunion but even with all these common elements movies don't always work. This one does thanks to a fun plot and good chemistry between the actors. Not an intellectual challenge, just a couple of hours of enjoyment. Nothing wrong with that!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
"National Treasure" is probably the first of a string of films set to cash in on the "Da Vinci Code", "Angels and Demons", "Rule of Four" phenomenon that has set the world of paperback fiction alight over the past year or so. Like most of these novels , "National Treasure" popularises some hitherto arcane secret society knowledge and combines this with riddle solving ,treasure hunts and fast paced action sequences.To an extent it works fairly well; the film is entertaining and keeps your attention right to the end ,with the plot a sort of combination of the "Da Vinci Code" and "Rule of Four". However it could have been a lot better ;the cast of the movie were Hollywood "B" team and the choice of incidental music was inappropriate to say the least.While Nic Cage and Sean Bean were entirely convincing in their action set pieces,I thought both of them , especially Bean and his goons, were miscast as quick-thinking, puzzle solving historical scholars. They looked more like heavy-drinking brickies who would collectively struggle at solving the Daily Star crossword. No doubt a really stunning movie will translate the success and style of this paperback genre onto the big screen in the near future; something with the quality of say one of the "Bourne" films perhaps. "National Treasure" falls short of this standard, although it is an appealing enough movie and better than many recent thrillers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2005
An enjoyable film, for all its pretensions. In the same genre as the forthcoming Da Vinci Code but about something more mundane, its good fun. There are amusing moments, largely due to the self-obsession of the characters, but on the whole, a pleasant film. Sean Bean, as usual, stands head and shoulders above the rest. Nice to see Nic Cage trying something different, although the role of an educated but intuitive fortune-hunter is probably not going to become his forte.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hee, for a family adventure film that made a profit of over $247 million at the worldwide box office, you would think there would be more people standing up for the film and its subsequent sequel. Yet admitting to enjoying National Treasure is frowned upon, like it was some fluke of a hit and anyone bold enough to stick up for it clearly has taken leave of their respective senses.
National Treasure is what it is in simplistic terms, a rollicking good adventure yarn, one that is ripe with outlandish writing and implausibilities a go go, in other words fun fun FUN! Detractors can call it an Indiana Jones rip off all they like, but really what is wrong with that formula being followed anyway? Is it not allowed to be copied? Bizarre given that the Indy films owe their very being to a handful of action adventure films of old. While comparisons to The Da Vinci Code are fair if out of context given the target audience for the Tom Hanks starrer.
Plot basically finds Nick Cage as Benjamin Gates, a historian and cryptologist who is searching for some lost treasure once protected by the Knights Templar. Hired by Ian Howe (Sean Bean), Gates finds an important clue but is betrayed by Howe and his cronies and has to continue his search with Howe hot on his tail. Along for the ride with Gates are National Archives expert Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) and computer whiz kid Riley Poole (Justin Bartha). Story lurches from one clue to another, with much crash banging and escapades aplenty, while Harvey Keitel's cop enters the fray when the film's MacGuffin is stolen.
National Treasure is streamlined for the family audience, yes some of the cryptic wafflings will go over youngsters heads, and for sure it helps to have a modicum of American history knowledge, yet this is still a picture the whole family can enjoy whilst sitting in the same room together. It obviously lacks an end of the world peril, or the breakdown of religious society, but the action does flow and drama is not in short supply (the Declaration of Independence scenes are expertly constructed). The cast, with the exception of the bland Kruger, attack the material with the requisite tongue in cheek gusto, particularly Cage who makes geeks cool and Bartha with astute comic ability, and viewing it in High Definition reveals some beautiful colour photography by Caleb Deschanael.
Credulity is stretched, it goes over the top and malarkey often reigns supreme, but the makers aren't making a cerebral thriller. They achieve exactly what they set out to do, to make a fun action mystery adventure film that doffs its cap to films of previous years. Roll on to the sequel, I hope it's equally as fun and outlandish... 7.5/10
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2007
In a sea of movies that bog the viewer down with historical evidence, it's really nice to see a movie that's based on historical groups and events that accepts the fact it's purely fiction. Because of this, National Treasure presents us with an exciting, easy to follow old-school adventure movie with outrageous hidden clues and treasure maps that isn't bound to facts so much that it cannot be original. I would almost go as far as to say that National Treasure is Indiana Jones for the iGeneration. Nicholas Cage does an excellent job of playing the soft spoken hero and is supported by an excellent cast. It was refreshing to see a main character that wasn't all about explosions and dry-cool witted comments.
I sat down and enjoyed this movie from start to finish. This is a great family-friendly adventure movie (though there are a couple of moments that might be scary to small children) that is refreshingly light-hearted to the degree it can accept that a fiction movie is supposed to entertain. Recommend.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2006
An excellent entertaining adventure starring Nicholas Cage as an obsessed explorer whose family have passed down an obscure clue to find a vast treasure. Like his forefathers (but unlike his weary father) Cage is driven towards finding this fortune. The first clue leads to him needing to "borrow" and examine the original Declaration of Independence from a museum and the City hopping, relentless adventure carries on from there...
National Treasure is Indiana Jones with the internet - a modern imaginative adventure where Cage and his cohorts are tracked by a rival explorer - the film's baddie played by Sean Bean. Despite the bad reviews often given to it by others, I think it is a superb, fast-moving and entertaining story which is a serious candidate for my list of Top 20 films of all time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2008
Basically if you love adventure/thriller/action films like the Da Vinci Code or the Indiana Jones films, you'll love this! Its full of action and suspense and there are loads of 'edge of your seat' moments, lots of mysteries to solve, and codes to break. There is also plenty of humour in it too, by Cage's sidekick played by Justin Bartha.
All in all, a great film. Can't wait for the sequel!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
`National Treasure' stars Nicholas Cage as Ben Gates, a treasure hunter whose life-long dream is to find the treasures from the templar knights. A clue at the North Pole sets things in motion, and Ben must use his formidable cryptography skills to decipher puzzles hidden in the most unlikely places--one appears on the dollar bill, and another is on the back of the U.S. constitution. Ben's unscrupulous former partner (Sean Bean) and his gang of thugs are also after the treasure for selfish, evil purposes. A plot to steal the constitution sets off a 13-colony-wide chase with all the trimmings: cops going after the wrong man, the rescue of a cute female cryptographer (Diane Kruger) who tags along for the ride, along with Jon Voight who plays Ben's disapproving father.
If you're a fan of other adventure films like Indiana Jones then this is a film for you! It's like The Da Vinci Code but a lot more fun. From the opening scenes there are just so many fast-pace, clever and near-impossible action sequences that do not fail to thrill at all.
As well as the action there is plenty of comedy, mainly from Ben's side-kick Riley (Justin Bartha) who comes out with endless one-liners. There's also a good amount of history to be learnt so if young ones are watching this is a perfect way of learning a bit of American history whilst watching an exciting action film, how much of it is true however, I'm not sure!
The picture on this Disney Blu Ray is simply unbeatable - every hair plug on Cage's head have never been clearer! I used to own this on standard DVD and this Blu Ray picture and sound quality is ten times better.
Overall this is an excellent globe-trotting adventure that audiences of all ages can enjoy. Highly recommended for anyone after some breathtaking action sequences and witty script.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2008
I am a kind of person who has such a thirst for knowledge (in all branches) and discoveries, even for an adventure. And, this movie is an adventure and quite enjoyable to watch.
I have read a great deal on Masonic history as well the American history. And, there are bits and pieces of histories into this movie, but one cannot get the full understanding or knowledge of histories from watching this movie.
However, I found this movie to have a stretchy plot to which is not new, as it is typical. One would have to keep in mind that this is one of the Disney films, so this movie is suitable for kids as well enjoyable for adults. And, this film is more close to the line of the films, "The Da Vinci Code" and "Pirates of the Caribbean," or so I think.
Nevertheless, this film is fun to watch.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2008
As a child I loved the Indiana Jones films and watching this film brought a wave of nostalgia over me - in fact I then ordered the Indiana Jones Trilogy!
This is a great film for all the family. No violence or bad language and full of adventure, conspiracy, action and humour. All our family enjoyed it and we range from 5-37!
Nicholas Cage was believable as the son in a family who have been ridiculed for their belief in a treasure dating back to the Declaration of Independence. His mission in life is to find the treasure and prove everyone wrong. Will he succeed? Watch and find out!
I can't wait to watch National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.