Yeah, but you know what else it is? Fun? Remember "fun"? It's that thing we used to have before the Republicans started passing laws against it. It's that thing people used to have in the 50's before they knew better. It's that thing we used to love before someone told us it had too many carbs.
National Treasure is a very clever, very hip, very fun little caper film, with a twist. Our heroes? A history major, a librarian, and a computer nerd. Our enemies? The government (sort of) and rich Australians.
Reading, it turns out, is fundamental. Who knew? Or as Joe Bob Briggs would say, there's librarian fu, computer geek fu, no breasts, blood on a Meerschaum pipe..check it out!
I'm sure it's wildly historically inaccurate, but I never was into early American history; the only reason I know as much as I do is more a factor of having lived in Boston for 4 years than having had to take it in school. But it's plausible...all that weirdness on the money, all that super-secret Mason stuff? It takes little granules of fact and weaves them into a wonderful yarn.
But one that you have to read books and do research to unravel. Which is cool. One that has lines like, "You can't do that. It should be done by someone who is trained to handle antique documents," and "You mean, you didn't know that? Wow...I have to savor this moment. Is this the way you feel all the time?" One which has a scene in which, chased by bad guys and pressed for time, our heroes take a moment to geek out over the fact that they are unrolling the Declaration of Independence in the room in which it was signed and how cool is that?
It's also as snarky as anything on Television Without Pity.
There's also all sorts of tiny details...Our main hero is named Benjamin Franklin Gates. His grandfather is John Adams Gates. Now, his father is only called "Patrick" but anyone want to take a bet that his middle name is Henry? Another one, that even I fell for, involves a red herring on a certain red line in a certain city known for a pair of red things...which in the name of spoilers shall remain nameless...
There's just one tiny detail they did screw up, and seriously, it bugged me throughout the whole damn movie. We start out in expository flashback, 1974, and the kid playing young Ben Gates has dark brown eyes.
Nicholas Cage? Has blue ones. Drove me fugnuts.
Still. Have some fun. See two stars from Troy without having to actually sit through it. Suspend some cynicism and solve a mystery.