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(Review originally written at 12 January 2007)

Of course this movie is a simple version of "The Da Vinci Code" but at least it's more entertaining to watch. It has just as many vague and unlikely clues at some unlikely historical places and on historical items, that lead to even more clues about the location of a large treasure.

The whole concept of treasure hunting is of course one that really speaks to the imagination and this movie greatly takes advantage of this, by putting in the movie every formulaic element you would expect from a movie like this one.

It's not that the movie is bad but it just isn't anything fresh or renewing either. It's an Indiana Jones and "The Da Vinci Code" wannabe that doesn't add enough on its own to the genre. Nothing wrong with a little bit 'borrowing' from other movies, as long as it works good for the movie and its story. "National Treasure" is a movie that entertains but that's basically all there really can be said about the movie.

The story is fun and adventurous and the movie features some good actors that are being played by some surprising big names. The movie has some good moments and action sequences, that aren't too big (the movie most certainly does not look like an $100,000,000 movie) but are entertaining nevertheless.

The movie is good looking with a good visual style and a nice suiting action score from specialist Trevor Rabin.

It's a bit of a shame that the movie is just so formulaic. Nothing in the movie comes as a surprise and it features all of the typical elements you would expect from a movie like this one. At times the movie could had really used some more originality to make it more entertaining-, or at least less predictable to watch. Like I said before, the movie is still good and fun enough to watch but it could had really been so much better with a tiny bit more of originality of its own.

The characters are also quite formulaic, though it fits the genre well I guess; a friend turns villain, a love interest and a comical sidekick. Why do movies always think they should have comical sidekicks? It's starting to get really annoying, especially if the characters aren't even funny, like in this movie is the case. It sort of helps though that all of the characters are being played by some well known names. I like Nicolas Cage and he shows that he can also play a convincing main 'heroic' character. Sean Bean plays the villain and like expected he does this in a great way, like only he can play a villain. The movie further more also features Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel and Christopher Plummer in some smaller roles.

All good fun, as long as you don't expect something original- or to be blown away by it all.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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