National Treasure (2004)

***

I can understand why people hated this movie. The plot’s premise is nonsensical at best, Nicolas Cage’s performance is hilarious almost to the point of being tongue-in-cheek, and the rather anti-climatic ending understandably didn’t leave the best taste in many viewers’ mouths. I’ll further admit that the reasons I thoroughly enjoy National Treasure probably have more to do with outside factors than with the merits of the movie itself. I always loved watching National Treasure in grade school (where several teachers would show it thanks to its clearly quite viable historical accuracy), I recently played and loved the first two Uncharted games which are heavily based upon it, and I will always have a soaring love for Nicholas Cage ever since he declared Guns N’ Roses’ “Prostitute” a masterpiece. Is National Treasure ridiculous to the point of being borderline-braindead? Yes. Are the characters reduced to being little more than archetypal cutouts rather than developed individuals? Yes. Are my credentials as being a serious film critic being absolutely desecrated like The Declaration of Independence would be if it were slathered in lemon juice? Probably. But in spite of all of these things (and in some cases, because of them), I still love the hell out of National Treasure. Sue me.

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