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01 December 2004 @ 04:25 pm
Movie Reviews - "National Treasure"  
OK, so polarbear and I went and caught the new Nick Cage action/adventure flick National Treasure. Mixed emotions about it...

OK, let's talk downside first.
-- Right off the bat, this film came off like a made-for-cable-TV movie, like something you'd see advertised as a 'USA Original Movie'. Forced one-liners ran rampant through the film, not even necessarily good ones.
-- The characters were pretty much one-dimensional, occasionally changing motivations at the drop of a hat, with very little build-up, change of expression, or mannerism.
-- Basic facts of biological, chemical, and physical science were not only glossed over but completely ignored.
-- Security measures of the highest order were circumvented with almost no effort.
-- Oh, and a 200-year-old document, preserved against wear and tear all these years, withstood all kinds of mishaps without the slightest blemish.
On the whole, a completely unbelievable set of situations. We spent half the film grunting or giggling at things that should have either been obvious or impossible, and were invariably the opposite. We were one step ahead of the film in all aspects but the obscure historical references (more on those later). Every time I think Hollywood has hit the bottom of the barrel, they manage to kick out the floor and find ANOTHER false bottom...and down they go.

Now, on the upside.
-- Jon Voight, I wish his daughter would take some lessons from him. He was constrained in a supporting role here, and it was not his best performance (for that, I recommend "Runaway Train" as one of his shining moments), but it was good nonetheless.
-- Harvey Keitel was interesting in a small role as an FBI agent.
-- Christopher Plummer's cameo in the beginning, well, I just happen to think a lot of him. Weird to see him so old, though; he looked like Max Von Sydow.
The storyline was sort of a give-and-take situation. If you are already a conspiracy nut, passingly familiar with Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, and their associated connections, then you might get a kick out of this. If not, some of the history that is spouted off in the beginning may lose you a little (but not much). Regardless, it is a cool idea: an ancient treasure, fought over since the beginning of civilization, finally captured and hidden by Crusader knights, who became the Templars (and later the Freemasons), and the clues to it's location seemingly lost...add one family, who knows of the secret, determined to find it, the task passed from generation to generation. It sets up a film full of action, clues, and discovery; basically, a gamer's heaven. Funny that I was wearing my "Gaming is Life, the rest is just Dice Rolls" shirt, because I felt the DM in me going "ooh, neat idea!" If you can look past the stupidities in it, it's a good adventure flick, and one surprisingly (and refreshingly) free of blood-shed, injury, nudity, and language. Pure adventure. Indiana Jones would have loved this.

So, there ya go. As a story, damn good, fun, intriguing. As a movie, downright goofy in places where it shouldn't have been. I might own it, eventually, if only for the 'game' aspect of it all.
Current Music: Suicidal Tendencies - Alone
egonix on December 1st, 2004 04:39 pm (UTC)
I did think it was a bit odd in the begining how Nic Cage cleared away about ohhhh....3 inches of snow with the greatest of ease to reveal the chunk of metal displaying the ship's name.

But yeah, I enjoyed the movie too.
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll: Bad Guy (Tough Words)archmage on December 1st, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, kinda like the way they were up "above the Arctic Circle' with unprotected flesh, but no frostbite or even frost on them.

Like I said, basic facts ignored, but a great story.
Jarrad Morelockjarydm on December 1st, 2004 10:02 pm (UTC)
totally just got home from watching that tonite..

was fun to watch, and if you weren't paying much attention, most of it seemed pretty cool (read: i wasnt really paying much attention, and left thinking it was pretty cool, although, yeah the snow thing at the beginning REALLY bothered me)
Ms Katvenomous_one on December 2nd, 2004 05:31 am (UTC)
I'm off to see it next week.

Tonight, we went and saw Bad Santa. Rock on Billy Bob, you nasty-ass! Now *that's* a great portrayal of Santa.
deathcythe_25deathcythe_25 on December 2nd, 2004 12:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was. Now only If I could find a woman who had the same fetish for soldier boys.
As for the National Treasure, I won't be able to see it for at least 4 months. It is a bit slow to get here. On the plus side, it only costs $1-$3 for entry, so no real big loss.