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National Treasure

The Greatest Adventure History Has Ever Revealed 

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from National Treasure

Members of the Gates family have long passed down the story that in 1832 a relative of theirs was told a secret by the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Impendence, who was also a Mason. The secret was about a treasure, moved across the world over thousands of years, stolen and stolen again. With every movement the treasure grew larger and the Knights Templer eventually decided it was too large for any one man to own. So the treasure was hidden and a set of clues leading to more clues was formed, and lost over the years, till only one remained; “The secret lies with Charlotte”.

Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage) has teamed up with the resourceful Ian Howe (Bean) in their hunt for a lost ship; they believe the Charlotte is hidden in the Arctic. Eventually they find it and look within to discover their next clue, that there is an “invisible” treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. At this point Ian shows his true colours, double crossing Ben and leaving him stranded while journeys home, planning to steal the Declaration. On getting back to the US, Ben and his pall Riley (Bartha) figure out that the only way to both protect the Declaration from Ian, and find the map is to steal it, but how do you go about stealing a national treasure?

Principally this is another Nicholas Cage action film, but with a kind of Indiana Jones Historian flavour to it as well. Sean Bean and his friends play the opposition who want to squander the treasure for themselves. For some reason all the bad guys here have British or European accents, while the good guys are all American. Other Hollywood stereotypes are predictably employed; this is not a taxing film but does easily sustain interest as the progression of the treasure hunt is measured just right. The direction and use of music are of a high standard, things hang together very tightly where they could otherwise become dull.

National Treasure is a light hearted 130 minutes, an optimistic Cage action flick running at the right pace.

Nick Grills

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Summer Term (35mm)