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Movie review: National Treasure

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Managed to catch this movie last weekend in Singapore and it is interesting to note that the movie will only be released in Malaysia on 20th January 2005. The trailer for the movie looks really good, giving you the modern-day Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider feel. Here's my take on the movie.

The movie starts off with a flashback twenty years before. Benjamin Gates (Nicholas Cage) was told a story by his grandfather of ancient treasure which is said to have been hidden from the British by Freemasons during the American Civil War and was handed a cryptic clue by the last surviving signatory of the Declaration of Independence. On to the present, Ben Gates makes a breakthrough! The Founding Fathers inscribed an invisible treasure map on the back of the original Declaration of Independence. With the help of his wise-cracking technical assistant Riley and the archivist Dr Abigail Chase, Ben must steal the heavily guarded document himself to prevent it from falling into the greedy hands of British fortune seeker Ian Howe played by Sean Bean. Thus, begins the adventure through many of America's best-known monuments to find the treasure first. However, Ian's murderous henchmen, and the FBI, in hot pursuit.

The plot sounded really good when I was reading the synopsis but the way the writers expanded the plot during the movie wasn't as good and something seem to be missing from the movie. IMHO, this could be due to several factors. Firstly, this is a Disney movie, thus, violence and foul words are non-existence. The writer tries to portray a ruthless villain but somehow, the henchmen are more comical than threatening. Secondly, as expected from an action/adventure genre, the movie is fast-paced but it lacks style and energy. This toned down the level of excitement and a sense of urgency for the movie. The chemistry of the characters in the movie is not bad. As usual, Cage's plays the cool hero who gets the pretty lady at the end and his sidekick, Riley is the comic relief.

The sound and music used in the movie is just mediocre and it nothing special or memorable compared to other action adventure like Bad Boys II, Indiana Jones or Armageddon. Maybe the director should use a more adventure-sounding-music to make the movie more exciting. Overall, an entertaining movie but a forgettable one compared to other Nicholas Cage movies like Face/Off and The Rock. Regardless, it's good to see Cage on the big screen in the action/adventure genre again after a long absence. Watch it if you're a Cage fan or if you have nothing else better to do.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3
Sound : 3
Picture : 3
Storyline: 3


posted by Ivan, 11:11 am


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