For anyone that really got bored with their eighth grade American history class, you are about to get a new lesson filled with exciting adventure that is filled with clues and keys about a vast treasure that has been collected from the days of the pharaohs on through the Crusades and Middle Ages. It might be under our own feet, and there is a family that knows where to start looking, and our story begins with one inquisitive boy, Benjamin Franklin Gates (Hunter Gomez), hunting around in his grandfather’s attic in on a stormy night in 1974.
His grandfather, John Adams Gates (Christopher Plummer), tells Ben the tale of the the treasure and the Masons and the Knights Templar, and how it all falls together and how his family is involved. The have only one clue, “The secret lies with Charlotte”. The story is interrupted when Ben’s father, Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) berates his father for filling Ben’s head with stories, and that the treasure is only a myth, and that it is time for everyone to let it go. Ben is not going to heed that advice, and that leads to a team of new treasure hunters in our time hunting for Charlotte in the Arctic.
Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) and his techie partner, Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), are now being funded by a man of means looking to find more means, Ian Howe (Sean Bean). Howe has his own team of thugs, Shaw (David Dayan Fisher), Powell (Stewart Finlay-McLennan), and Shippen (Oleg Taktarov), and these guys are in so tight with Howe, that they do just about anything he says. When the team does find the Charotte, and old ship filled with gunpowder, all it leads them to is another clue in the shape of a beautiful tobacco pipe. This pipe is a key in so many ways. First it carries a cypher on its steam, and later it is used as a key to gain entrance in another way. This cypher indicates that the next clue is on the back of the Declaration of Independence, and this is where ties break off.
Howe betrays Ben and Riley, and takes the clue that will lead to the next place, and leaves them to try to escape a highly combustible Charlotte. They boys find shelter in the smuggler’s hold, and the ship explodes. The boys make it back to Washington D.C. alive only to be shunned by the feds when they attempt to tell them that someone is going to steal the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives. After not convince the director, Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) that is going to be taken, he comes to a new idea. In order to stop Howe from stealing it, Ben decides to steal it himself. This leads to a race that not only uses speed, but stealth and cunning versus brute force. The feds get called in on the case, and Agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) and his team become part of the plan to stop Howe and get the document back.
In the race, Abigail becomes part of Gates team, and this race will take them to other national monuments in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. East Coast. From Franklin’s Philadelphia to New York, and into place no one could have guessed at. This movie is a non-stop roller coaster of a mystery, and one that might make Americans fill with the national pride they have been missing in the last several years. If you have forgotten where we came from, the join Ben and Riley in their hunt for the biggest National Treasure of all time.
I give this film a Musing review of