Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. With the hopes of having a good laugh and getting to see Philly on the silver screen, I went and saw National Treasure.
You really have to hand it to Jerry Bruckheimer. The man has made his career (and a very profitable one at that) on pure mediocrity. Whenever you see his name on screen at the beginning of a movie, you may as well set your brain on floor because you won’t be needing it. Actually, hang on to the part of it that loves explosions.
Nick Cage stars as Benjamin Franklin Gates (dear god, the writer must have been so pleased with himself on that one) the great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of everyone important whoever lived who has to find the greatest treasure that ever existed. The film starts out by throwing us right into the middle of the shallow plot and only takes a breath intermittently to pat itself on the back for how clever it believes itself to be. One thing I have learned from this movie is that America kicks ass. Way more than the rest of the world.
If The Da Vinci Code was too heady for you, you need to see this movie. Sugar water never tasted so sweet. I half-wished that the Declaration of Independence was written with gunpowder so that Gates could have crumpled it up and thrown it at someone and blown them up. Just leave your disbelief on the kitchen counter at home, I mean come on, there is no way anyone gets from Independence Hall to Reading Terminal Market that fast!
I know I expect too much, and I have a hard time not being critical, but there wasn’t even a moment where you could feel like maybe something bad might happen to one of the good guys. No danger ever seemed insurmountable, no plan too far fetched for everyone to find a way to survive. Who needs character development! The main characters are too busy running away from the underdeveloped bad guys. I can only imagine this was written in one go and in a perfectly straight line. “Ok, everyone is trapped again… I will just write them a new exit”. I wanted a non-stop thrill ride, and all I got was a history lesson. Oh, and after seeing the coming attractions I now know I live in a world where this film is possible.