Sociable

Sunday, December 30, 2007

National Treasure, Better than the original??!!!??

It's so infrequent that a sequel can match, much less surpass an original. Usually the characters don't develop between movies, the plot is terribly hackneyed and weak, and by the first 40 minutes you realize you've been had into spending $10 bucks and a couple of hours just because of your false hope. Oceans 12 is a perfect example of this, also Rocky 2, Star Trek 2, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, The Sting 2, Ensign Pulver, Jaws 2, Stayin Alive, Blues Brothers 2000. These movies were sucktacular and I want the combined wasted 24hours of my life back!

Others like Die Hard 2, Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest, and Bourne Supremecy are on par with the original because although they aren't incredible movies in their own right, it's just so much fun to spend some more time with the characters. Then you have movies like Empire Strikes Back and National Treasure Book of Secrets in which you walk out of the theatre feeling as though the original were nothing but a warm-up act.

This was the most fun I've had in a treatre in a very long time! The characters sitll have their trademark personalities, but enough has changed between movies that the dynamics between the characters is different (Riley's simmering jealousy of Ben getting all the credit for the first find, Abigail didn't marry Ben and is now dating other men, the IRS has had it's effect on the first find).... all things that prevent you from feeling as though it's same old, same old. ::::::::coughOceansTwelve:cough::::::::

Then onto the adventure. I remember thinking before going into the theatre , "they're already rich as snot, having found the world's greatest treasure, what could possibly motivate them to search for another, smaller treasure with the same passion and intensity as the original?" Well, the writers did a great job of answering that one! You never question how much finding this "treasure" means to them, and when (again) Ben, Riley, and Abigail must break into The White House, Buckingham Palace, or even kidnap the President, one doesn't think twice.

The movie again is filled with Ben/Abigail sharing their "but of course" moments of obscure trivia, and Reily gets another "I know something you don't" turn. Ed Harris plays a wonderful villian and has a terrific final scene. The plot is utterly original and has some serious "Indiana Jones-esque" moments that fit the story much better than the dumb-waiter from hell in the first National Treasure! Even te dynamics between Pappa Gates (Voight) and his ex-wife were terrific! Certainly a 10-outta-10, thumbs-up, 5-stars.... can you tell I loved this movie?