From Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and Jon Turteltaub, director of PHENOMENON, comes NATIONAL TREASURE. It's the thrilling, edge-of-your-seat adventure starring Academy Award(R) winner Nicolas Cage (1995 Best Actor, LEAVING LAS VEGAS) as Benjamin Franklin Gates. Ever since he was a boy, Gates has been obsessed with finding the legendary Knights Templar Treasure, the greatest fortune known to man. As Gates tries to find and decipher ancient riddles that will lead him to it, he's dogged by a ruthless enemy (Sean Bean, THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy) who wants the riches for himself. Now in a race against time, Gates must steal one of America's most sacred and guarded documents -- the Declaration of Independence -- or let it, and a key clue to the mystery, fall into dangerous hands. Heart-pounding chases, close calls, and the FBI turn Gates's quest into a high-stakes crime caper and the most exciting treasure hunt you've ever experienced.
Like a Hardy Boys mystery on steroids, National Treasure
offers popcorn thrills and enough boyish charm to overcome its rampant silliness. Although it was roundly criticized as a poor man's rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark
and The Da Vinci Code
, it's entertaining on its own ludicrous terms, and Nicolas Cage proves once again that one actor's infectious enthusiasm can compensate for a multitude of movie sins. The contrived plot involves Cage's present-day quest for the ancient treasure of the Knights Templar, kept secret through the ages by Freemasons past and present. Finding the treasure requires the theft of the Declaration of Independence (there are crucial treasure clues on the back, of course!), so you can add "caper comedy" to this Jerry Bruckheimer production's multi-genre appeal. Nobody will ever accuse director Jon Turtletaub of artistic ambition, but you've got to admit he serves up an enjoyable dose of PG-rated entertainment, full of musty clues, skeletons, deep tunnels, and harmless adventure in the old-school tradition. It's a load of hokum, but it's fun
hokum, and that makes all the difference. --Jeff Shannon