Sunday, August 15, 2010
#53 - National Treasure - 2004
National Treasure was my 4th movie I decided to watch this week. This franchise (only two movies so far but more to come) is one awesome ride. This film had a very cool storyline, great cast, and the settings in this film really helped make the movie. A must see for any history buffs out there or treasure hunters for that matter. Below is my detailed review.
Nicolas Cage stars as Ben Gates. He is the main character of the film and is easily my favorite character. Other stars in this film are Jon Voight as Ben's father, Patrick Gates, Diane Kruger as Abigail Chase, Justin Bartha as Riley Poole, Sean Bean as Ian Howe (the bad guy), and Harvey Keitel as Sudusky, the FBI agent. Cage was a perfect fit for the role of Ben Gates and Justin Bartha was great as his comedic sidekick. I had never seen Kruger before but she did well as Abigail Chase and I am a big Jon Voight fan so I really enjoyed him in this as Ben's father.
Like I said before I really enjoyed the story of this film and it tied in historical events in history with modern day action and humor. Bartha provided most of the humor in the film but Cage and Voight also had their moments. The cities were most of the film was based in were Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington DC. Philadelphia easily being the major city where they were and the most integral to the storyline. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall were major historical sites used in this film.
Although this was more of an action/adventure flick there was some pretty cool visuals in this film as well. One of the more notable ones being at the beginning of the film where Ben, Riley, Ian and some of his crew were all searching for Charlotte which was in the snowy Atlantic. The ship which was buried under an abundance of snow gave the audience a cool visual inside where ancient artifacts, skeletal remains, and all sorts of gunpowder was all around. Ive come to learn that with any movies, shows, or documentaries on bluray that have snow scenes come out looking amazing real and almost as if you are there. You can see the shimmer crystallized shine of the snow and it looks so real. Very cool.
Obviously the other awesome settings in this film came under the Church where the treasure was buried. After entering through a cave system with an incredibly cool looking spiral wooden staircase and an ancient electric operated open elevator Ben and his father along with Riley and Abigail search for clues and eventually find the treasure they were so diligently looking for. The scene where they enter the room with the treasure is visually stunning. The filmmakers did a great job of making all the treasure look very old and authentic. The sheer size of the room and amount of treasure was unbelievable and again this was one of the more stunning visuals we see throughout the film.
There were some very notable quotes throughout the film, some funny and some more sentimental and dramatic. A list below is some of my favorites. Obviously the first to come to mind is when Ben Gates tells Riley, "I'm going to steal the Declaration of Independence". One I thought was hilarious was when Ben asked Riley if he knew what the preservation room was and Riley responded with "where they make delicious jams and jellies"? The most sentimental scene was when Ben, Riley, and Abigail where all standing in Independence Hall with the Declaration of Independence and the glasses they found and Ben started to tell the others how the last time these items were in this hall was when it was originally being signed. Pretty cool!
My favorite scenes in the entire film where as follows. Riley's explanation of how difficult it is to steal to Declaration of Independence and his examples of how protected and secured it is. I also loved the scene where Patrick Gates finds out that what his son has stolen was the Declaration of Independence. His reaction is comical! The entire scene down to a detail where Ben actually steals the Declaration of Independence during an event was pretty cool too as was the ending scenes of course that took place down below the Church. There were a lot of great scenes in this film! All in all with its very unique and creative story, great casting, action and adventure throughout and its small dose of comedy as well I would easily give this film an A!