review by Neo
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You know, I have never been a fan of Nick Cage, nor am I now after watching this movie, but one thing I must point out is that while the originality of the movie is quite questionable, it would take a very hard to please critic to call this movie - plain bad - which unfortunately over 50% of the critics did. In a matter of fact, Neo actually liked the movie, but only as a mindless, brainless, and sometimes smart movie ride! It is even more surprising to note that somehow, this movie actually works, may be it is the influence from the makers of Pirates of the Caribbean, but this movie, geez, it worked out smoothly, and after seeing so many failed this is surely a much overlooked or should I say - underrated mindless entertainment that actually works since the Pirates of Caribbean. Surely, it is by no means on that level, but if Ocean's 11 was for adults, this is one for kids.
The story goes like this - Ben Gates comes from a family of treasure hunters. Now his grandfather believes that the Four Fathers buried a treasure somewhere in the country and have placed clues everywhere but unfortunately the clues are highly cryptic and scattered all over the place. Now Ben thinks he has found it but it only leads him to another clue which is on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Now one of his associates Ian wants to steal it so that they could get the clue but Ben refuses to do it so he tries to kill Ben. But Ben evades him and tries to warn the authorities about Ian's plans but they don't believe him. So Ben takes it upon himself to steal it in order to protect it. And he does but Abigail Chase the curator of the National Archives, where it is kept, discovers what he has done and tries to stop him but gets caught in the crossfire between Ben and Ian, so Ben takes her with him. While she doesn't believe him, he is determined to prove he is right about the treasure. But it won't be easy cause Ian's always a step behind him and he is being hunted by the FBI.
It is shocking to see that adventure movies failed very often - like Tomb Raiders - which I found it as bad as shit, and somehow, this movie doesn't fail, but leaves the audience going out quite satisfy, if not very pleased and money well spent (which is partly caused by the long 131 minutes running time). However, maybe it is just me, that is weird, because for all my life, I do love treasure hunts movie, and pirates, as they really fascinates me, but even that I hated Tomb Raider and the sequel - only good thing was Simon Yam, so you get the picture.
The performances department, Nick Cage once again, despite my non-fan status, I do admire this guy - he can act in almost any roles, and here he is witty yet funny and expresses himself with great confidence. The only main problem I have with Walt Disney is that the BAD GUYS always lose??? Why does it have to be that way? Why teach the kids that way, when the world is totally the opposite, well maybe this is what you call Hollywood Brainwashing, but to the think of it, why should kids be expose to this horrible world at this stage. Well I guess Hollywood was right for once, at least.
So let's conclude yet another Hollywood review, by NEO, as he say farewell to all you loyal listeners, or readers as Christmas approaches, he is glad to say that National Treasure, despite Critics didn't like it much, it is a movie that he would call a totally mindless one, but yet a pretty smart movie that got good direction and production values. As far as adventure/ treasure hunts movie are concerned - this is a pretty good fun movie ride on all levels!
I rate it 7/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Product Title : National Treasure
Artist Name(s) : Nick Cage
Language : English
Duration : 131 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - December 2004