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Volume 70, Issue 64, Friday, November 19, 2004

Life & Arts

History and action collide in 'Treasure'

By Tony Hernandez
The Daily Cougar

A treasure hunt for virtually the biggest prize imaginable, a race to steal highly guarded and revered government documents and an interesting view and quasi-history of the country's Founding Fathers are what moviegoers can look forward to in Disney's National Treasure.

Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) comes from a family that has kept the secret and responsibility of protecting the legendary Knights Templar treasure. Legend has it that the treasure started with valueables left behind by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Greeks and grew each time it changed hands.

A group of knights during the Crusades discovered the immense treasure and formed the Knights Templar to protect the fortune. Freemasons are said to have stemmed from the Knights Templar, and the group of Masons that held the treasure traveled to America to hide the riches. These Freemasons were the country's Founding Fathers, such as George Washington, John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin.

With the death of the Masonic Founding Fathers died any conceivable believability of such treasure in the country. Gates and his family are essentially the only people left searching for clues to discover the project. However, when Gates and his partner Ian Howe (Sean Bean) discover a major clue leading to a map behind the original Declaration of Independence, they disagree over the method of gaining access to the document. And thus begins the race to discover the treasure.

Gates is aided by buddy Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), the comic relief who gets quite a few chuckles from the audience, and Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger), who reluctantly ends up with the duo. Along the way, Gates receives help from his father (Jon Voight) and tries to stay ahead of FBI agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel).

The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Armagedon, Bad Boys, The Rock, Con Air). He has all the classic elements of his films ? the music score that adds to the emotion of the movie, explosions and the ability to keep the audience guessing. National Treasure, being a Disney picture, does not have any blood, death or cursing. But the modern-day treasure hunt has comedic moments and an interesting story that teaches about the country and Founding Fathers, and makes for a good movie.

National Treasure

Rated: PG for action violence and some scary images

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger

Verdict: A ‘Treasure' worth seeking.

 Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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