National Treasure

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By Mark Ramsey | 2004/11/22

Somewhere deep in the Hollywood Hills Jerry Bruckheimer is laughing his head off. And, coincidentally, in a jar on Jerry’s bookshelf the disembodied head of former partner Don Simpson is laughing, too.

Don’s head is laughing at the box office success of National Treasure. And Jerry’s laughing that Don can’t help him count the money without any hands.

No medicinal marijuana was harmed during the making of this motion picture, but you sure wouldn’t know this from watching it – in the unlikely event that you do.

nationaltreasure_roof.jpg“If I had known they’d use it to produce a movie like this,” sighed Benjamin Franklin, “I never would have discovered electricity.”

You know, I’ve always said the founding of our nation would have yielded better box office if it had included a treasure, but who knew the Continental Congress had socked away enough buried wealth to be the Twelve-Course Meal Congress?!

Yes, the story goes, our founding fathers took time out from their busy schedule of building a nation, fighting a war, and committing high treason to stash acres of 2,000-year-old loot in a secret location and devise a tangle of serpentine and cryptic clues that would await the keen intellectual puzzle-solving skills of Nicolas Cage, a man whose skills failed previously to solve the much more obvious puzzles of Patricia Arquette and Lisa Marie Presley.

It’s clue after clue after clue for Nic. And yawn after yawn after yawn for you and me.

Nic and his family have long hunted this mythic treasure, and most folks think they’re on a wild goose chase, albeit a goose with wooden teeth and a three-cornered hat.

This movie uncovers the secret society of Masons. It seems there are many movies about the secret society of Masons, leading me to wonder what’s so secret about this society. Hmm, a hush-hush organization which meets in the absence of women and promotes brotherhood among men? If they’re shirtless it’s new this season on BRAVO, folks.

nationaltreasure_dollar.jpgWhy didn’t we know about this alleged treasure? Evidently our founding fathers wanted to keep this stash from the British because the Brits would presumably use it to produce dry comedy TV shows that, according to John Adams, “would never play in the colonies.”

In some circles the existence of this priceless cache is in dispute. Noted venerable patriot Sam Adams, “Hey, if we really had access to a fortune, it would have been called the Boston Tea and Caviar Party.”

Could it be that the map to this treasure is hidden on one of our most cherished cultural icons? No, not the stitches surrounding Tara Reid’s exposed nipple. I mean something much less often displayed in public: the Declaration of Independence!

“We hold this truth to be self-evident,” said Thomas Jefferson, “If I had seen National Treasure first, the only thing I would have traced on the back of the Declaration is my resume.”

Nic and company steal the Declaration from the National Archives. You’d think this would bring down on Nic some kind of massive crime-fighting Hell, but no. Just a diminutive crime-fighting Harvey Keitel.

As a Fed.

Yet again.

Harvey has played a peace-keeper so many times he mutters “license and registration” before taking a shit.

Jon Voight is Nic’s dad, and thanks to the magic of dermabrasion Jon’s ruddy complexion looks years younger – if by “younger” we mean “emerged from a dogfight more recently.”

“Today dermabrasion,” boasts Jon, “tomorrow paleontological excavation!”

Be forewarned, America, National Treasure will never be broadcast on ABC in prime time because the word “cock” is clearly legible in John Hancock’s signature malfunction.

National Treasure creates all the wrong temptations for our founding fathers. “I fear Paul Revere has gone Hollywood,” bemoaned a morose George Washington. “He approached me a fortnight ago and called out ‘one if by land, two if by sea, and three if you’re in a hot tub on Blind Date.‘”

The only thing worse than dumb is dumb and boring. And National Treasure is worse than dumb.

“Give me liberty,” said Patrick Henry, “or give me points on the gross.”


Photos Copyright ©2004 Walt Disney Pictures

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