Double Review: National Treasure 1/2/(3)
With a third installment on it’s way next Christmas (see “Recommendations” for details), I thought it’d be a good idea to reflect back on this terrific, action-packed, suspense-filled, adrenaline pumped series. The National Treasure franchise has been distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer – starring Nicholas Cage as the main character, Benjamin Franklin Gates.
Benjamin Gates is a sort of modern day Indiana Jones, without the James Bond attitude (with which Indy has become famous) – having a rather more fitting personality for the film’s environment. Gates is a history buff and a treasure hunter, one tying in with the other. His passion for history fuels his desire for discovery, leading him into exciting adventures and precarious situations…
In the first movie, Benjamin Gates is seeking The Charlotte, and old colonial ship which is said to contain that “secret” that will either contain or lead to the unimaginable treasure of the Knight’s Templar. He is accompanied by his tech-savvy friend Riley Poole, and a man with a bit of steel to his attitude – Ian Howe. After the discovery of the ship leads to a clue, indicating that there is a “map” at the back of the famous Declaration of Independence, the crew find themselves at a momentary standstill. Ian however, finds a speedy solution – why not “borrow” the Declaration of Independence for a bit? Appalled by Ian’s blunt malice, Gates refuses to take part, leading into a literal firefight between Ian’s gang and Gate’s party. Gates and Poole are left trapped aboard an ignited Charlotte, filled gunpowder, and escape with their lives by cleverly locating a smuggler’s room beneath the ship.
In order to prevent Ian from stealing the Declaration of Independence and harming it, Benjamin Gates contacts the FBI, Homeland of Security, and eventually a woman by the name of Dr. Abigail Chase, who works for the National Archives, and finding failure in all situations (but not without “romantically” leaving Miss Chase a surprise gift: the last coin to her collection of historical artifacts… coated in a special residue that will make her fingerprints easy to copy from… say, a glass cup to a glove) he at last comes up with a final, desperate plan: to steal the Declaration of Independence.
With the aid of Riley Poole’s expert hacking abilities and the forging of a custodian’s ID, Benjamin Gates manages to enter the building where the Declaration of Independence is being held, taking advantage of a gala taking place that night. Bypassing security, and with the helpful hand of Dr. Abigail Chase’s fingerprints, Gates manages to secure the Declaration of Independence, but not before a firefight between Ian and his men – good thing the DOI’s (No, not DUI, my personal acronym for the Declaration of Independence) casing is bulletproof.
After a run-in with the FBI, a hostage situation with Ian, clever intellectual trickery, car chases, and all that you’d expect out of a action-packed adventure movie, Gates Jr. (Ben Gates), his new girlfriend Abigail Chase (how’d that happen!), Riley Poole, and Gates Sr. locate the treasure of the Knight’s Templar, give the location of Ian’s gang (who they’ve directed to a false clue elsewhere) to the FBI (along with connections with the chief that are briefly used in the sequel), take a humble 10% of the profits, and get of scot-free, living happily ever after! Till’ the sequel… when they kidnap the POTUS (President of the United States).
In the sequel, National Treasure II: Book of Secrets, Benjamin Gates finds his family name challenged by Mitch Wilkinson, a covert black market dealer who wishes to defile the Gates family name in order to motivate Ben to find the treasure hidden with Mount Rushmore (Ed. Comment: it was all a cover-up! The conspirators were right!). However, in order to find the treasure, Ben Gates must first kidnap the President of the United States (which he does by convincing the President of a secret area beneath the White House, and simply asking him a few questions, though not before showing him the exit with all due politeness and chivalry) so that he may locate the elusive presidential “Book of Secrets.” One clue after another, the treasure is located, Mitch Wilkinson, who took to kidnapping and other Ian-like tactics, was left behind in a last and first observed noble attempt to save the others by holding open a door which was the only way out in the flooded cavern within Rushmore. The treasure, which is a city of gold (built in the design of pyramids), is recovered and accredited to Ben & the Gates family, Abigail, Riley, and, as was his dying wish, Mitch Wilkinson.
Both movies are great for the whole family! Breath-taking, heart-race invoking, suspenseful – it’s certainly worth the while, and up there with some of my favorite films. The movie is suitable for kids around 11-12+ years, considering there is a deal of violence.
If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…
In order of relevance, recommendation, and other factors…
National Treasure III (Christmas 2011)
Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]
Tron: Legacy [In Theaters]
How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]
Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]
Despicable Me [Available on DVD]
Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]
Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]
How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]
Iron Man II [Available on DVD]
Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]
Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]
Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]
Sherlock Holmes II [December 16th, 2011]
Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]
Gates Family Mystery (Book Series – which I have not read)
Benjamin Gates: A toast? Yeah. To high treason. That’s what these men were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and-Oh! Oh, my personal favorite-and had their entrails cut out and burned! [brief pause] So… Here’s to the men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right… [nodding] what they knew was right. (Wiktionary)
Posted on 12/23/2010, in Adventure Writer Favorite, All-Things-Reviews, Movie Reviews, Uncategorized and tagged 2004, 2007, Abigail Chase, Abraham Lincoln, Adventure Writer, Benjamin Franklin Gates, Book of Secrets, Bruce Greenwood, Buckingham Palace, Caleb Deschanel, Captain America: The First Avenger, Cíbola, Charles Segars, Christmas, Christopher Plummer, City of Gold, Cormac Wibberley, Critical Review, December 21, Department of Homeland Security, Despicable Me, Diane Kruger, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Ed Harris, England, English, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Film, France, Gates Family Mystery, Green Lantern, Gutzon Borglum, Harvey Keitel, Helen Mirren, History, How to Train Your Dragon, How to Train Your Dragon II, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Incas, Indiana Jones, Iron Man II, Iron Man III, James Bond, Jefferson Thomas, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Jim Kouf, Jon Turteltaub, Jon Voight, Justin Bartha, Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom, Kung-Fu Panda, Lost City of Gold, Marianne Wibberley, Mount Rushmore, Movie, Movie Releases, Movie Reviews, Myans, National Archives, National Treasure, National Treasure 3, National Treasure III, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Native American, Nicolas Cage, November 19, Oren Aviv, Oval Office, Paris, Patrick Gates, Peter Sadusky, POTUS, President Coolidge, Presidents, Recommendations, Resolute Desks, Saturn Films, Sean Bean, Sherlock Holmes II, Speeches and Writings, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Statue of Liberty, Tatoranaki, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Theater, Threequel, Trevor Rabin, Tron: Legacy, United States, United States Declaration of Independence, Walt Disney Pictures, White House, William Goldenberg. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.