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Buried treasure Buried treasure
by Thanos Kalamidas
Issue 11
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Information
Film
National Treasure
Jon Turteltaub
2004
Have you seen all the Indiana Jones films and you liked them? Walt Disney is here to offer you an alternative Indiana Jones with a treasure hunter who is not after a mythical ring or a small statue lost for centuries, but a real treasure and the whole pursuit is happening now.

If you combine Indiana Jones in modern times, add a lot of Da Vinci Code, the most popular book over the last three years and I bet the producers of the film were thrilled with its success, and then you add a very Indiana Jones poster, Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight (like Sean Connery playing the father) and Harvey Keitel as the mysterious FBI agent you get a gold mine. At least that's what the producers thought because despite the huge promotion and the profit the film brought in the first couple of weeks, the whole thing is dead boring.

Nicolas Cage, even though he has played in some good films like the Rock over the last few years, he is something like a cacophony to anything he does. Talking about cacophony, it might be the sound of his voice that makes me want to turn off the volume and read the subtitles every time; the man needs some phonetic lessons.

The plot is boring; the most exciting part is when inside the museum the two teams that want to steal the Declaration of Independence meet. There is a bit of shooting but everything is very Disney style. The bad guys are clever enough to get the clues but when it comes to most critical moment for them they are missing everything. They are just…stupid.

The woman scientist who falls for the star is totally neutral. She's there for some reason, but since this is a Disney film and cannot wear a mini skirt or something more Pamela Anderson-style, so she's just there.

Jon Voight obviously studied Indiana Jones III and he tries to imitate Sean Connery in the role of the father. Pity for a man who was in films such as The Boys from Brazil and Midnight Cowboy, and even in the film Mission: Impossible he was better.

The only one who survives is Harvey Keitel. With a little of humor and the sense that this man is hinting at a different agenda behind the FBI agent's identity makes you watch the rest of the film waiting to see what will happen. However the producers thought that by only showing you the ring he's wearing and referring to the early masons might answer the mystery. It doesn't!

In the end the hero finds the treasure. And guess what, the non-mythic treasure includes books from the mythic library of Alexandria and some more mythic treasures like that for the Pharaohs and the Greek mythic cities. By the way, nobody tells us what the hell all these treasures are doing in a country that has only a few centuries of history and an ocean to cross. At least Indiana Jones is more realistic in his myth; he travels to the original places. The funniest thing is that they call it National Treasure - it makes you wonder if Americans have a need of a historical identity and if they do are films like this the best way to find it?

Talking about Indiana Jones, except the poster and the stupid marketing from Disney, the professor archeologists has nothing to do with the joke professor in National Treasure. Most of all, Indian Jones is original and that's enough to make him unique. And this is coming from somebody who is not a fan of Indian Jones' films.

The film was not worth to see on the big screen, but I think having it as a DVD might have its uses. It will be good when I want my two-year-old daughter to sleep. She doesn't understand much anyway and there is nothing scary or dark during the film, so she might fall asleep in the first two minutes saving us the time to hear the rest of the 123 minutes.
  
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