Skip to main content

National Treasure - 5Star

Diane Kruger, Nicolas Cage and Justin Bartha hunt for clues

Maverick historian Nicolas Cage is after a stash of fabled ancient treasure in this action-packed adventure. 4/5 stars

Luckily, Cage has a knack of solving cryptic clues that have eluded everyone for generations and, to find another vital message, he needs to get his hands on the original US Declaration of Independence document to finish off the job. So, he sets about stealing it from the Library of Congress in Washington DC!

However, bad guy Sean Bean is keen to get his hands on it, too, and is in hot pursuit, while museum official Diane Kruger is also pulled into the plot.

Suspension of disbelief is required in every area of this yarn, which begins with Cage and Bean explosively falling out in the Artic and ends with a creepy old chamber that's straight out of Indiana Jones.

The clues (just wait for those special 18th-century specs hidden in an old wall!) are comically contrived, but the extensive location filming takes in some classic American landmarks and the supercharged action is non-stop.

Cage has just the right tongue-in-cheek attitude for this gloriously outlandish and immensely entertaining adventure, and he is ably supported by Justin Bartha as his sidekick, Jon Voight as his dad, and Kruger.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.