National Treasure

release year: 2004
genre: action/adventure
viewing setting: theater, 11/26/04

synopsis: A clever treasure-hunter pursues clue after clue (including one that requires stealing the Declaration of Independence) to find the greatest treasure in history.

impressions: This was a well-paced, well-plotted treasure hunt movie, with probably the biggest jackpot ever. There are a maddening number of clues and puzzles, and the movie is convincing as far as the challenge of actually finding the treasure. Since it's a Disney movie, and rated PG, there's not much in the way of violence, but that wasn't really a problem.

things to watch for: the whole stealing-the-Declaration part was cool

something this movie has that no other movie has: treasure clues on the back of the Declaration of Independence

acting: Nicolas Cage overacted, as usual, turning in a quirky performance. Jon Voight played his father, who doesn't believe there's any treasure. Diane Kruger (a young actress perhaps best known for playing Helen in Troy) is good as an archivist and history buff who gets involved. Justin Bartha plays Cage's sidekick, a security/electronics expert. Sean Bean is the evil head villain. Harvey Keitel is the FBI guy who's chasing the good guys after they steal the Declaration.

final word: Damn good treasure hunt.

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