Directed by Jon Turtletaub
Based on the story by Oren Aviv, Jim Kouf, Charles Segars
Screenplay by Jim Kouf, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, John Voight, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Plummer
Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage) is the next generation in a family of treasure hunters. When he uncovers a major clue to a lost Templar fortune, he realizes that the final piece lies with the Declaration of Independence. Now he’s racing against a former ally (Bean) who wants the Declaration and the treasure for himself. Now Gates is relying on his faithful friend Riley (Bartha) and the skeptical Abigail Chase (Kruger) in his search for answers.
This is a fun adventure film based on the story by Oren Aviv (RocketMan), Jim Kouf (Rush Hour), and Charles Segars (National Treasure: The Book of Secrets). The screenplay was written by Jim Kouf, Cormac Wibberley (Bad Boys II), and Marianne Wibberley (The 6th Day). Jon Turtletaub (While You Were Sleeping) was chosen to direct this film. The cast features a great cast beginning with Nicolas Cage (The Rock), Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds), Justin Bartha (The Hangover), and Sean Bean (Equilibrium). John Voight (Midnight Cowboy), Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction), and Christopher Plummer (The New World) are also featured.
This is a fun story that doesn’t push too hard to be serious. The premise is filled with interesting historical facts mixed with the right kind of fiction. Like most family adventure films, this one has a long list of improbabilities. Still, it’s a fun ride that entertains from beginning to end. The dialogue in this one is playful and sometimes cheesy, but it’s not harmful to the film. The movie is built around fun action sequences, unique twists built around history, and the search for treasure. All of this makes this a good family movie.
The acting in this one works well with the script. Although the story is silly at times, the acting pulls off a certain amount of seriousness. Cage and Bartha are a nice duo, making their moments together pretty fun. Kruger and Voight also do nice work bringing in their differing styles that balance out the film as a whole.
Sean Bean is the perfect choice for the villain in any adventure film. His role in this one really works nicely. He does a good job with the action sequences as well. It’s also fun to see Christopher Plummer in a nicely written smaller role. Overall, the acting in this movie works well with the cheesy script. This movie takes a stab at creating conspiracies around the history of the United States. (Sounds a lot like the media.) While some of this feels wildly implausible, it still entertains. The film uses great locations and sets to bring the film to life. The critics were split on this one, but I think it’s just not a film that should be taken too seriously. This is just a fun movie that entertains despite the imperfections. If you’re a fan of Cage, or any of the actors, this is one worth checking out. I would also suggest this to anyone looking for a good film for a family movie night. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.