Tuesday, June 9, 2015

National Treasure

So, Left Behind left us wanting to catch a few Nicolas Cage movies wherein he does his crazy schtick, instead of sitting around like a lump. National Treasure was on Netflix, and the rest was history... just not accurate history.

The plot of this movie is some kind of Lovecraftian, non-Euclidean history failure, the sort of thing that a person can't think too closely about without going mad and attempting to end the world in an effort to die first. In the interest of both my own sanity and that of any hypothetical readers, I won't go into it. Instead, I'm going to go over a few of the problems that really stood out with this turkey:

* Failure to kill Sean Bean.
Now, I like Sean Bean. He's totally awesome in everything. It's also a natural law of movie making that he must die. In National Treasure, he is merely incarcerated at the end, despite being the villain. He was the only character that was actually fun to watch, so I don't want to dock the movie too many points for this, but it was still sloppy. There were ample opportunities to just drop him from a high place right at the end, where he could still have had maximum screen time.

* "Shut up, woman!"
After Nick Cage steals the Declaration of Independence - a completely dick move to start with - he manages to rescue Diane Kruger during a ridiculous car chase... and then acts super smug about the theft and insists she shut up repeatedly. It was hammered on enough that later, when working with the villains temporarily, he knows Kruger is really okay because a henchman refers to how she 'won't shut up.'

Bee assures me that Disney thought this was cute, for which they must know the taste of cleansing fire.

(The two of them ending up together is horrid, completely unearned, and horrid. At the time, I objected that it was too soon for Stockholme Syndrome to set in.)

* Emo Riley.
Cage's sidekick, the information expert who spends most of the movie completely clueless and, indeed, only ever knows one important clue, is also a whiny git. Worse, like Sean Bean, he fails to die throughout the entire thing despite many opportunities to do so. There is a point where Bean points a gun at him and demands he shut up, which was probably the high point of the film.

* The treasure itself.
Bee was quick to point out that none of the treasures were actually American in origin - they were all stolen from other countries, and rightfully belonged elsewhere. This point is almost touched on at the end of the film, but Cage's character still feels right about deciding how to divide the spoils.

The thing I noticed about this was that the movie made it feel like the whole point of America itself was merely to store gold coins where no one could get at them, which is a bad lesson for a movie. Unless, perhaps, the movie was made by Glenn Beck.

* The finder's fee.
While this probably could fold into the point about the treasure, I was bothered enough to want to talk about it separately. These were historical artifacts, and there would doubtless be many opportunities to profit from being the people to find them, but no one was going to give these people a percentage of the take as a finder's fee. 

In closing, nothing that happened made sense, not from the standpoint of history, human behavior, economics, physics, police work, nada. I believe Bee summed it up best with this: "TELL ME AN ALIEN DIDNT WRITE THIS MOVIE."

I can't tell you that, Bee. I wish I could, but I can't. I can only theorize that perhaps, rather than an alien, it was Walt Disney's brain in a jar, preserved by the Mi-Go for their own mysterious purposes, and equally mysterious screenwriting.

The only time I truly enjoyed this movie was after the credits rolled, where Netflix assured me that 'people who enjoyed this movie also enjoyed Mission Impossible 2,' and I felt so much gratitude at not seeing that turkey again that I was actually glad I'd seen National Treasure instead. I also feel good about hating this movie because we've actually liked a number of bad movies recently, and I was concerned that I might be going soft. If nothing else, National Treasure is proof that I still have hate in my heart, and that is the greatest treasure of all.

Until next time, hypothetical readers.

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