NATIONAL  TREASURE     -          A  Narada Film Review

    Papa Gates  
   Ben Gates	  
NATIONAL TREASURE - 2004   -Jon Turteltaub-Director  &  Jerry Bruckheimer -Producer
        Some of you will recall the old saw, "When you cross a beautiful woman with a 500 lb gorilla, you get a 500 lb gorilla."   NATIONAL TREASURE's Director Jon Turteltaub took four great actors (Harvey Keitel,  Jon Voight, and Nicholas Cage, and veteran Christopher Plummer) and put them in an entirely ridiculous pseudo-adventure.   The result was an entirely ridiculous pseudo-adventure.   Living in Bangkok, we Expatriate Americans feel acute embarrassment when something like NATIONAL TREASURE is actually exported for viewing abroad.   The film would have been more properly named NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT.   "That bad?" you ask.   Worse.
         Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicholas Cage) is the last descendent (how very Darwinian) of a long line of fools chasing dreams of untold treasures.   Capable of leaping large logic-gaps in a single bound, Gates is able to come up, miraculously, with the correct next clue, as he continues to follow leads to the hidden treasure.   His sidekick, Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) plays foil and straight-man (only slightly dumber than Gracie Allen) for Gates' supposed intellectuality.   His bumbling, gender-imperfect buffoonery and an obvious lack of even a 6th Grade education, was intended, I am sure, to be endearing - however it very early on becomes grating in the extreme.
         Without giving away too much, that the key to the puzzle of where the NATIONAL TREASURE was hidden is based on blatantly faulty astronomical science speaks volumes on America's deepening educational crisis.   Certainly with millions of dollars at the studio's disposal, they could afford to have a single high school science teacher do a quick read-through edit of the script - or is this, too, now asking too much?   That NATIONAL TREASURE was 'big box-office' at home leaves one with a sense of cinematic betrayal and the realization that the 'Lowest Common Denominator' in America has plummeted yet again.   Had it been rendered as a spoof of the Indiana Jones Super-Adventure genre, it might have had a chance.   As it now stands, it insults the collective intelligence.   
      LEAST Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Could it really be that simple?"

Copyright 2005,    Bangkok Eyes /
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