Confession: I think Nicolas Cage is a great actor. And not just because of Oscar-quality performances like those in Adaptation and Leaving Las Vegas. No, the movie that introduced me to Cage’s gifts was National Treasure. And while Cage did return to the big screen for a sequel, the series deserves to become an even bigger franchise.
The National Treasure movies were made in the wake of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, an immensely popular, thrilling, if not particularly well-written novel about conspiracy theories and mini-art history lessons. National Treasure is the American Da Vinci Code—and also much better than the actual Da Vinci Code movie, which opted for drab humorlessness instead of embracing its inherently silly premise.
National Treasure, on the other hand, is in love with its own silly premise. Basically, Cage follows a trail of clues across historical America, trying to find a treasure the founding fathers hid during the Revolutionary War. He needs to get it before the bad guys, who have more sinister plans than donating it to a museum, do. It’s everything you can want from an action movie: witty, reasonably well-crafted, and starring Nicolas Cage. READ FULL STORY