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Three Stars for National TreasureThree Stars for National TreasureIs Ben Gates descended from a family that holds a clue to a priceless national treasure that originated centuries ago from the Knights Templar? Or is he a nut?

You can bet it's the former when Nicholas Cage plays the determined treasure hunter. Unfortunately Ian Howe (played by Sean Bean) wants the treasure for himself, and is willing to do anything to get it. Add a major clue invisibly etched on the back of the Declaration of Independence and the chase is on.

Gates steals the declaration to prevent it being stolen by Howe, beginning an unlikely but delightful series of events. Abigail Chase, the curator of the National Archives joins the chase, at first to protect the Declaration, but later because she has come to believe in Gates.

While the plot is preposterous, everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, and director John Turtletaub keeps things moving briskly and with good humor. Gate's sidekick Riley Poole is hysterical in his attempt to know something, anything that the intellectual Gates and Chase don't know about American history. One thing leads to another as the gang picks up more clues while trying to keep the bad guys away. And the bad guys are delightfully bad.

All told, National Treasure is fun. It's not hard to suspend your disbelief for a while with characters and plot as appealing as this movie offers. Like the da Vinci Code, it weaves true people and places from history into the fiction, offering a madcap tour of America's well known historical landmarks.

National Treasure is currently being shown on Time Warner Cable's iControl movie channel.



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