#22 National Treasure

#22 National Treasure
Year: 2004
Director: Jon Turteltaub
MPAA Rating: PG
Epic Co-stars: Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel
Running Time: 131 mins
Cage Time: 90%
Cage Kills: 0
Cage Flip-outs: 1
Skyler's Review: 
This movie was written by a high school Social Studies teacher that was trying to pique the interest of her students to learn about US History. She was a fan of the Cage and totally in a rage that Nic was not chosen to play the lead in the Da Vinci Code; instead they got Woody from Toy Story, an odd choice. She basically took the identical plot from Dan Brown and adapted it to US History, and National Treasure was born.

I'm not going to discuss all of the plot holes, since there are many and we recorded them below, but the story goes like this:  The Gates family for six generations have been trying to find the long lost National Treasure, because they received a clue: "The secret lies with Charlotte". For six generations, each Gates patriarch has wasted 10-20 years looking for the treasure. What they were each doing for 20 years is beyond my comprehension, because they each made ZERO progress as to what the hell the clue even means.

Enter Nic Cage.

From studying Social Studies and US History, he is about to get RICH!!! (see kids, Soc. Studs. is important, you could get rich; and the hot girl) Nic (Ben Gates) first realizes that Charlotte is the name of a ship and he finds it, leading to another clue!!! This is HUGE progress over the last 6 Gates' hunts. 

Let's rub household chemicals, including citric acid, all over the Declaration of Independence.  What is the worst that could happen? (Nothing bad happens)
When Ben goes to his Dad to show him the great breakthrough, his dad says "Don't waste your time! It will just lead to another clue, and another clue, and another clue..." Ben retorts with "Like, when has that ever happened to you dad, solving a clue, I mean?" His dad's eyes stare off into space; Ben's dad pulls out a sword and says "This is George Washington's actual sword that he carried during the crossing of the Delaware...and I am a failure! (sobbing)" and he falls on the sword.

It doesn't go exactly like that, but close enough.

Basically the rest of the movie involves the curator of the Declaration of Independence being cool with dumping acids on the real, genuine document. The hot chick falls for the comely Nic Cage, and not his more age-appropriate sidekick. But will they find the treasure? You will have to watch the movie to find out! (there is a National Treasure 2, and NT3 has been announced)

Just like real life.
Overall this movie is great for Cage fans that like kooky heist action movies. Plus it's fine for kids of any age.

Fun fact! If you look up "STOW, Declaration of Independence" on yahoo (like Sean Bean does in this movie), the first result actually IS "Liberty Bell" just like it is in the movie. The second result is "National Treasure movie corrections." Interesting. Also, you may recognize Agent Johnson (aka that blond FBI guy) as Jacob from LOST or the Blond Treehorn Thug from the Big Lebowski.

Movie quotability: 1/5
  • "A toast. To high treason. That's what these men were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and- oh! Oh, my personal favorite- had their entrails cut out and *burned*!"
  • "She really can't shut her mouth, can she?"
  • "You're shouting again."
  • "Not cool. Not cool." (while chasing a fleeing Abigail)
  • "We need more juice. We need more heat."

Plot Holes:
  • Long-lost revolutionary war ship Charlotte is buried under 3 inches of snow. 
  • Of any part of the ship, Nic Cage conveniently first uncovers the bell, which has the ship's name on it. (Oh, I guess this is the right long-lost ship, then.)
  • Etched message revealed by rolling bloody pipe on paper is way too long to fit on said pipe's circumference.
  • Nic Cage's ancestors have had that same damn "secret lies with Charlotte" clue for six generations, but none of them ever moved beyond that first clue despite devoting their entire lives to it. Yet Nic Cage barrels through ALL the clues in one movie. And his dad goes on and on about "this clue will lead to another clue, and another clue" even though he has NEVER SEEN ANOTHER CLUE.
  • Gunpowder wouldn't burn, just explode.
  • Sean Bean says to run before someone sees the smoke, but they're in the middle of nowhere in the Arctic circle.
  • Nic Cage reads whole paragraph of Declaration of Independence in husky, solemn voice without giggling. 
  • Nic Cage is wearing John Travolta's outfit from Pulp Fiction. Wait, is that John Travolta??
  • You could not raise the temperature in a thermometer that fast, even with a one-watt laser.
  • Diane Kruger does not wash her hands all day after opening the pin from Nic Cage. And the residue doesn't rub off on any of the other things she touches between mid-day at the office and evening at the gala.  
  • Supposedly professional criminals miss every shot, including one from a meter away with adequate time to aim. 
  • They decide not to tie up Abigail, even though she has no reason to not run away.
  • "Professional" archivist decides that it is OK to rub lemon juice all over the Declaration of Independence and take a blow drier to it.
  • After hours of waiting to get all of the letters to the cipher from the Silent letters, Riley decides to leave before getting the last four letters; even though EVERY time he has made a guess about a clue so far he has been completely wrong.
  • They do not sell bottles of water at Urban Outfitters
  • Nic Cage easily cuts a brick out of a wall with a pocket knife.
  • "Ian has nearly unlimited resources."
  • Random Black lady is sassy. No, just kidding. That makes perfect sense.
  • Nic Cage is supposed to be really smart, even though everyone knows he's a Scientologist. 
  • Nic Cage pops up out of the river, somehow "safe" although he is clearly still within eyesight of the dock (not to mention the helicopter).
  • Everyone keeps saying "Heere, spelled with two E's," although "here" has two E's and "heere" actually has three.
  • Nic Cage kisses girls with his mouth closed.
  • Wooden chandelier does not burn.
  • Weak woman saves "thick" grown man from falling into bottomless pit (that was dug by freemasons).
  • Ancient stone statue rocks like a piece for Styrofoam when punk kid hugs it.

Exceeds Expectations
!Tapped out of the Cage!


Steve M said...

Yup, gotta love it despite all its faults and holes. I started counting holes from the get go, finding the bell first, smuggling hold on an armed ship, hurry up before someone from the Inuit village 9 miles away sees the smoke... Yah, I just gave up nit picking and decided to relax and be glad I had something to entertain me while I sweated out what was said to be the hottest day in the past 3 years.

One quibble with the listed plot holes. Gunpowder does burn just like shown in the movie when not contained. I'm not even sure if a wood kegs of powder would even give the explosion shown. I'll be glad to give a demo of gunpowder burning if needed.

James Ayers said...

I'm gonna need you to bring a barrel of gun powder to work on Monday. We can blow it up out in the distant parking area where nobody parks.

Steve M said...

I'm going to have to check my employee handbook to see what it says about that.

Rilifon said...

Review #3

Entertaining, but not his best work by far. Cage Factor in a average level. I had fun, and would watch again in a distant future.
And after all, it is a Disney movie with Nicolas Cage.
Nic Cage is your average indiana jones type of guy who solves puzzles and in the end get the hot chick. Let's see what she thinks of him after seeing his bear suit...

Grade: 6.5/10

KaBluie said...

#17 National Treasure (2006) First Time View! Good movie!

KaBluie said...


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