Classics: National Treasure

Did you know that National Treasure is just over two hours long? I didn’t because when I watch this movie, I’m so riveted by what I’m watching that time passes quick. Much like Adam Sandler movies, Nicholas Cage movies aren’t really supposed to be good. They are kind of in their own category, but this one exceeds expectations. It’s actually one of my favorite adventure films, and I can watch it every time it comes on.

National Treasure is the daring story of the Gates family and how they passed down the secrets of the Free Masons from generation to generation…the secrets of treasure. Since before the creation of the United States of America, the Gates family, and everyone else, have been seeking this massive treasure that dates back centuries, and that’s where they start to pique our interest.

What’s great about this film? The adventure! You don’t need to know anything about American History of even like American History because they explain it to you as they go. Now, it can be a bit…let’s say extra, to have Ben explaining the events in American History to us, but they try to mask it by having him do it while he thinks about these clues aloud.

You know another great thing about this film? Riley was not only comedic relief, but he also served a purpose. You know how sometimes you get a character who’s the comedic relief and they’re just annoying and are just there to be annoying and funny? Riley was not that and I appreciated that. He was the tech guy and he was funny.

Another great thing was that this was a great Nicholas Cage movie. I feel like Cage is historically known for being in bad films that eventually become cult classics, but this movie seems to skirt past that.

Now, a downside for a casual viewer. You cannot be on your phone when this movie is on. You must pay attention. If you don’t, you will miss why we’re under ice in a boat from the 1700’s or why we even need to steal the Declaration of Independence or why Abigail is even on this adventure with us.

You know, I toggle back and forth with if we need Jon Voight as the dad, but I get why we have to include him. He, like Ben, tried for years to decipher these clues that his father left him to find this same treasure, but to no avail. So, naturally, any time he hears about this treasure from Ben, he immediately rolls his eyes and has a grand parent speech about fairytales and dead ends. He’s on our side but not in the way we think.

What I can say about this film is that when I initially watch it, I wondered if things like this actually exist somewhere. And, in many respects, it probably does. Just like we discover in this movie, what better way to keep a secret than to place it on the back of a very important document with invisible ink.

Couple of last points for this film are that I forgot this is a Disney film so you can stream it on Disney+ and it can, for some questions, help you with your American History homework. I remember being in Social Studies in middle school where we spent two days watching Forest Gump as a cheap way to educate us about American History. I feel like teachers would be able to do the same thing with this film. Plus, it’s fun to watch as a kid. I really feel like someone should take a look at the Declaration of Independence. We could be missing something.

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