...busting up my brains for the words

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

National Treasure

I just saw the movie National Treasure this evening. It had been awhile since I'd been to the cinema and I've been down in the dumps for the past coupla days, so a movie was the perfect remedy. Let me just say that for me, it was a toss-up as to whether I should see I*Heart* Huckabees or National Treasure. I'm not the least bit sorry for my selection. I'd heard that this movie is entertaining and I'd agree that on that score, it delivers the goods.
The movie is an example of good storytelling. There's nothing arty about it. It simply delivers a good story, competently told with enough twists and clever ploys to keep one engaged in the story. A good test for me is if I feel the urge to go to the restroom, but I opt to stay put for fear that I'll lose the thread of the story when I return to my seat. A little applied muscle control on my bladder, and I was just fine. I'm glad I hung in there.
This movie moves at a clip. The pacing is just right. A tempo is established and this successfully creates an anticipation in the audience; What is going to happen next?
I hope I don't have to explain to you that Nick Cage is one of our very best screen actors. He's very good here. And the supporting cast is well chosen. This is a smart movie. Cage's character has brains and his love interest, played by the lovely Diane Kruger, projects a keen intelligence necessary to fit as his partner.
Harvey Keitel plays a smart investigator in a role that reminded me of "The Wolf" from Pulp Fiction. He's a guy who gets the job done.
The only segment that bored me was where you'd expect I'd get bored. Where else? A chase scene. Chase scenes can't much be improved upon enough to make them interesting. Some bad guys are chasing after the good guys. The good guys are running away from the bad guys. Either the good guys will get caught or they will get away. If they get caught they will eventually get away again. I suppose I could have gone to the restroom here, but I didn't know how long it would last. A chase scene that lasts two minutes is a long chase scene because if feels like ten.
I suppose the Steve McQueen chase scene in The Great Escape was one of the best chase scenes in the history of cinema. That movie is the exception to the rule. Chase scenes bore me.

Another nice touch in this movie is the bad guys. They're all Europeans. There's a nice dimension created in the situation, as the good guys are Americans who want to get the treasure while retaining respect for the Declaration of Independence. The bad guys are Euro-thugs who have no regard for the founding document and only wish to gain the treasure.

But then, that's the sort of subtext you'd expect from a movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

There. I've reviewed this movie without giving away a single spoiler. And if you have to go to the restroom, do so during the chase scene on foot. But do so within two minutes.


  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger Mr. Bruce said…

    I'd like to add my own two thumbs up for "National Treasure".

    Among the several aspects of the movie that I enjoyed:

    No foul language. This was a movie meant for adults (okay, teens) and it was bereft of foul language! Refreshing.

    Smart people being smart! Loved that bit, especially when Cage and Kreuger are shown thinking on-screen.

    No nudity, no sex.

    Nobody was shot--the one death that occured was when Sean Bean's henchman fell to his death, and Bean was seriously affected by the death.

    And Harvey Keitel as a mysterious FBI guy who knows more than he reveals.

    I thoroughly enjoyed NT and heartily recommend it to everyone!


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