Review by Eric
National Treasure begins with a young boy searching around in an attic. His grandfather then tells him the family secret, they are treasure hunters. The young boy’s father then comes in and is angry that his father has shared this with his son. He thinks they are fools for wasting time on seeking a treasure.
We next get to see this young man as the fully grown Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage). He is with his team of treasure hunters in the arctic. They are searching for a ship, “The secret lies with Charlotte”. Ben’s partner, Ian Howe (Sean Bean), is not happy to find out that the treasure they seek, the Templar’s Treasure the Gates’ have been searching for for generations, is not on the ship, but they are given another clue. This clue is that their next clue can be found on the Declaration of Independence. This of course seems like a dead-end because how in the world could they get access to the Declaration of Independence. Well Ian decides he has to steal it. Gates protests and the crew turns on him with the exception of Riley Poole (Justin Bartha).
Back from the arctic Gates tries tell every government agency about Ian’s plan. They of course think that he is crazy. Gates is then faced with a moral dilemma worthy of one of our dialogues, and decides that he will steal the Declaration of Independence to keep it away from Ian and so that he can see the next clue.
The clues that are used in this film are amazing. It really makes you think back to all those history lessons from school. It also helps to bring alive the emotions and thoughts surrounding one this nation’s greatest documents.
Gates sees himself as a protector of treasure and of history. He does everything in his power to protect the document he “borrowed”.
They do use Freemasons and the Knights Templar as the backdrop for this film as well. The Masonic conspiracy can get kind of old, but they do a good job of not overwhelming you with details of the Masons. The characters simply state things like how many founding fathers were Masons and other things of that nature.
I think a message that this movie seems to project is that our greatest national treasure is our documents which make this nation so great and make us who we are. It’s not even those documents, but the thoughts and ideas behind those documents. The men who died to give us those rights, and those that fought and still fight for us to keep those rights.
All the gold, silver, and riches in the world is not enough for this country to change its principles. When Gates finally finds the treasure he says that it is too much for one man to own, and asks that it be split among all the major libraries of the world. The treasure belongs to the people; much like our nation, it belongs to the people.
This movie doesn’t have a lot of special effects, but the film makers to a great job of keeping the scenes seem real. I believed that they were at every location they were portrayed to be at.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
This movie has little to no language and is a great adventure for the whole family.
It is rated PG for action violence and some scary images