Thursday, April 19, 2007

Movies: National Treasure

My sister called this the "IB action movie," and I tend to agree with her. Looking at various Nicolas Cage films before viewing "National Treasure" will give you some false expectations. "The Rock" and "Face/Off" might lead you into thinking there'll be a lot of shootouts and explosions. "Gone in 60 Seconds" and "Con Air" might suggest Cage is playing his typical reformed-criminal-with-a-heart-of-gold character.

Instead, Cage plays Ben, a smartie-pants history buff seeking the titular McGuffin. Up against him in the hunt for the treasure is Sean Bean, who always seems to get a kick out of being the antagonist. Through various clues and deductions, Ben and his friends keep getting closer to the treasure...or are they? The movie can be somewhat cerebral at times, with history and science popping up with enough frequency that it might turn off those expecting a pure action thriller (though the brainy parts aren't always accurate, of course).

The beginning third of the movie is the best part, especially the fairly well-executed heist of the Declaration of Independence. Nothing here is too spectacular, mind you, but the pacing of the film feels right. Everything follows standard adventure movie conventions, but the actual movie itself is squeaky clean and something you could take your kid to see without worrying too much (it's rated PG). All in all, a decent movie and worth seeing on TV, or perhaps as a NetFlix rental.

Rating: 7/10


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