113. National Treasure (2004)

treasure

*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a green wife-beater, blue jeans, white sneakers, gargoyle shades and an NCIS hat. He’s holding a mug of pepsi*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair…welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock backflips into the lair*

Warlock: Tonight’s movie will be…

*Neyzor Blades cuts him off. She’s in the recliner wearing a black and white striped dress*

Neyz: If this is another romantic comedy I’m going to scream.

Warlock: No, not this time. Tonight we continue NCIS Appreciation Month with National Treasure. The 2004 Nicholas Cage history thriller.

Neyz: Let me guess, someone from NCIS is in it?

Warlock: Now you’re starting to get it.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the couch*

Warlock: So let’s get it over with then. National Treasure!

 

*The Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “A historian races to find the legendary Templar Treasure before a team of mercenaries.”

Neyz: Sounds like Indiana Jones.

 

*Movie opens with young Benjamin Franklin Gates (Hunter Gomez) searches the attic for something with thunder and lightning outside. He finds something and climbs down a ladder only to turn around and run into his grandfather John Adams Gates (Christopher Plummer). John says he shouldn’t be up here but Ben says he has to know. Its story time*

Warlock: Oh boy.

 

*In 1832 Charles Carroll (Terrance Currier) was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. He’s shown dying in a carriage. Grandpa says he was a Mason and thought he was on his way to see President Jackson. His driver was Thomas Gates (Jason Earles) and instead of Jackson, Carroll told Gates that there was a secret treasure. It was accumulated over the centuries. Knights of the Temple of Solomon found it and called themselves the Knights of Templar. They smuggled the treasure out of England to America and called the protectors of it the “Freemasons”.  The treasure was hidden during the Revolution and Paul Revere, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and others were masons. They devised a series of clues and riddles to lead to the location of the treasure. The clues were lost to time except one, and that was the one handed by Carroll to Gates. “The secret lies with Charlotte” Young Ben asks who Charlotte is and nobody really knows. John says the freemasons left clues everywhere, including in money*

Neyz: How much of that is true?

Warlock: The treasure ballyhoo is part of the movie. Charles Carroll really was the last surviving signer and he was 95 at the time of his death. He was never a Mason though his son was.

 

*Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) says people are laughing at them. Patrick establishes himself as a non believer but young Ben is a believer. He gets knighted by John*

Warlock: I want to be knighted.

 

*In present time, Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicholas Cage) is driving a snow truck while the credits roll.  He’s with Ian Howe (Sean Bean) and Riley Poole (Justin Bartha). Riley says he broke a shoelace and says its bad luck. Gates cracks up Ian by saying they should throw him out of the truck*

Warlock: I’d have loved to have seen that.

 

*Riley’s found their target and the two trucks stop.  Shaw (David Dayan Fisher) and Shippen (Oleg Taktarov) emerge from the other truck. Warlock stands and shouts*

Warlock: CIA ASSASSIN TRENT KORT IN THE HOUSEEEEEEE!!!!!

 

*They’re searching for the USS Charlotte. Shippen asks how the ship got there and Riley gives the technical answer*

Warlock: Did you get all that?

 

*They find the ship and begin excavating. Gates thanks Ian for believing. Ian says he would have found it and is glad he believed him. Riley, Ian and Gates explore the ship and Riley finds a corpse. Ben “He handled that well”

Neyz: That’s scawrrry!

 

*The trio finds the cargo hold and bust open the barrels, nothing but gunpowder. They find the captain’s corpse guarding a specific barrel. Gates opens it and finds a package inside. He opens it and its a freemasons box containing a large meerschaum pipe. Riley asks if its worth a million dollars and he says no. Its another clue to the treasure. Ian gets impatient and Gates uses his own blood as ink to press out the markings on the pipe. The clue reads “The legend writ, the stain effected, the key in silence undetected, fifty five in iron pen, Mr. Matlack can’t offend”

Warlock: What?

 

*Gates figures out the legend and key are an invisible map only effected by a dye stain. He asks what fifty five in iron pen means and Shaw answers prison. Riley scoffs and says “Snorkel!”

Warlock: Yes, the clue is a snorkel Neyz!

 

*Gates figures the pen is just that, a pen. The iron means something was resolved and Mr. Matlack was the official scribe of the Continental Congress*

Neyz: Is that true?

Warlock: Yeah, Jefferson wrote the Declaration and he printed it on paper.

 

*Gates figures out that the invisible map is on the back of a resolution that he transcribed. In other words, the next clue is on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Riley is skeptical but Ian believes it. Ian says they have to go for it, Gates rationalizes that they won’t just let them examine it. Ian says they could steal it, Gates is not on board. Ian tries to reason with him saying this is his chance for redemption. Ian and Shaw pretty much admit that they’re criminals and Gates doesn’t want any part of it. Ian says then he’s nothing but a hindrance and Shaw pulls a gun on him*

Warlock: HE’S GOT A GUN!

 

*Gates “What are you gonna do? Are you gonna shoot me Shaw?” Shaw nods*

Warlock: No he’s just showing you the gun…..duck you idiot!

 

*Ian threatens to kill Riley if Ben doesn’t give up the next clue and Gates fires up a flare. Everyone is surrounded by gunpowder so if Shaw shoots him, they’re all dead. Ian says the flare will burn out eventually. Ben tosses Shaw the flare and Ian catches it, but it sets his jacket on fire and he drops the flare into the gunpowder. Shaw and Ian make it out of the hatch but Riley and Gates make it out of the smuggler’s hold*

Warlock: Great thinking.

 

*Ian’s crew takes the trucks and hightails it out of there as the ship blows. Ben says he and Riley can walk 9 miles to the nearest outpost. Riley says what can they do about Ian, Gates says they need to stop him*

Warlock: Will they do it?

 

*Back at FBI Headquarters, Gates and Riley argue whether anyone will believe them.  In the waiting room, Gates reads about an upcoming gala while a secretary (Arabella Field) says Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) will see them now. Gates goes under the alias “Mr Brown”

Warlock: That’s a nice subtle reference since Mr. White is in this movie.

Neyz: Who?

Warlock: Reservoir Dogs, you’ll see.

 

*Abigail introduces herself and admits she’s German*

Warlock: The actress really is German.

 

*Gates checks out her collection of George Washington’s campaign buttons, she’s missing one that he has. Gates tells her flat out someone is trying to steal the Declaration and she says to go elsewhere, they were given the runaround. Gates says he wants to examine it to make sure its safe. He tries to tell her there’s a map on the back with items of historical importance. Abigail “So a treasure map?” Riley “That’s where we lost the FBI” She asks if they’re treasure hunters.  He says more like treasure protectors. She says she’s seen the back of the Declaration and there’s nothing there. Riley shakes his head and Gates whispers that its invisible. Riley “and that’s where we lost the Department of Homeland Security” Abigail asks how they know this and Gates tells her about the pipe. She wants to see it but Riley says they don’t have it. Abigail “Did Bigfoot take it?” Gates “It was nice meeting you.”

Warlock: Hahahahhahaa

 

*Before Gates leaves, he puts her and the button collection over. They leave and Riley says he’s convinced. Riley says to blast the story on the internet but it won’t scare Ian. Ben stands in front of the Declaration and reads a passage from it. If there’s something wrong, people who have the responsibility to take action, should action. Gates says HE’S going to steal it and Riley is skeptical*

Warlock: I’d be skeptical too.

 

*Riley says he’s gonna go to prison for that. Gates says Ian will steal it and destroy it. He needs to steal it to protect it. Riley tells him it can’t be done and will prove it. Riley brings Ben to the Library of Congress to explain how the security of the Declaration is done.

Warlock: We’re going Ocean’s Eleven here.

 

*Gates counters by saying Edison failed 2,000 times trying to invent the lightbulb. Edison says “I didn’t fail. I just found 2,000 ways not to make a lightbulb but I only needed one to make it work.” Gates says he’s going after the Preservation Room where the Declaration will be during the gala he read about. Riley says it might be possible*

Warlock: How are they gonna pull this off?

 

*Riley and Gates start getting gear ready for the big heist*

Warlock: Once again, Ocean’s Eleven shit right here.

 

*Riley hooks up a camera to look in the Preservation Room. Gates goes over blueprints. Gates shoots photos outside and creates a fake access pass*

Warlock: Brilliant.

 

*Abigail gets a package from Gates, its the missing button from her collection*

Neyz: Awww that’s sweet.

 

*Riley does recon work with a camcorder to trip one of the senors on the Declaration. Abigail is on her away. Meanwhile Ian is going over a plan to steal the Declaration, Shaw and his crew are packing c4*

Warlock: Hey now, no need to blow the place.

 

*Ben is in disguise and makes his way toward the Preservation Room. He removes his disguise, wearing a tux and takes a drill with him. Meanwhile Ian’s crew loads up their guns*

Warlock: Who will win the race?

 

*Ben runs into Abigail and they banter with Riley listening in. Dr. Stan Herbert (Don McManus) walks to them and Abigail introduces each other.  Riley “Who’s the stiff?”

Warlock:Hahaha

 

*Ben raises a toast for high treason. That’s what everyone committed by signing the Declaration. He then looks Abigail in the eyes and said “Here’s to the men who did what was considered wrong in order to do what they knew was right. What they KNEW was right. They drink*

Neyz: I see what he did there.

 

*Ben leaves and takes Abigail’s champagne glass she had in her hands. He lifts the fingerprints off it as Ian’s crew makes their way toward the Preservation Room. Shippen tazes a guard while Ben uses Abi’s fingerprint to get inside the elevator. Riley hits a switch to freeze the security cameras without the guys knowing, so Ben can move undetected*

Warlock: He’s the invisible man.

Neyz: Riley just said that.

 

*Riley tries a computer problem to translate anagrams. Gates figures out its Valley Forge*

Warlock: Brilliant!

 

*Ben makes it to the preservation room but Ian’s crew is almost there. Ian’s crew wipes out Riley’s feed. Ben takes the whole container and makes it to the elevator as Ian’s crew makes it. They spot Ben and Shaw opens fire, Ben uses the bulletproof glass around the Declaration for protection and makes it to the elevator. Ian is pissed. Ben rolls up the Declaration and puts it in a container. Abigail starts to suspect Ben as he makes it out of the elevator. He goes straight for the giftshop and buys a replica complete with container. Meanwhile Mike (John Travis) finds Ian’s breach and notifies security. Ben hightails it out of there but Abigail asks her assistant Rebecca (Deborah Yates) where he is. Eventually she spots him. She chases after him but he makes it outside. Riley starts the van but tells Ben Abigail is behind her. Riley “Stop chatting and get in the van”

Warlock: Yeah really.

 

*Security finds the Declaration is gone. The alarm sounds and Abigail spots the replica in his jacket. She calls for security as he hands it to her. Abigail goes to a different van and Ben recognizes Shippen driving. He goes to rescue Abigail and Shippen opens fire with a 9 mm. Shaw kidnaps Abigail and they drive off, Riley and Ben in hot pursuit*

Warlock: Oh boy, a chase scene.

 

*Ian tells her to give him the declaration so they can go home. Abigail nearly falls out of the van and Ben goes to catch her. Ian pulls her in just so he can get the Declaration and then tells Shaw to shoot them both. Ben drags her inside the van just in time. Ian opens up the container and its the replica. Ian crumbles it up and says “Well done Gates, well done.” Abigail calls them all lunatics. Abigail says they have the Declaration but Ben has it. Ben says Abigail owes her 35 dollars plus tax*

Warlock: Hahahahhaa

 

*Abigail asks who those guys were and Ben says they were the guys he warned her about.  Ben says taking it was the only thing they could do to save it. Meanwhile back at the Archives, the FBI shows up. Peter Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) is in charge and calms everyone down. He says to search everyone and get warrants if people refuse to cooperate. Agent Hendricks (Armando Riesco) snickers. He says that there a was a tip called in days before that someone was going to do this but they blew it off.  Sadusky admonishes him for it. Back in the van Abigail says there’s no hidden map and Ben reveals he’s not “Paul Brown” but Benjamin Franklin Gates.  She knows about his family and calls him insane. Meanwhile back at the Archives, Sadusky had a replica set up of the Declaration to not arouse suspicion*

Warlock: Great thinking Peter.

 

*Sadusky figures out that there were two groups going at each other. They figure out Gates was involved because of his credit card usage. In the van, Riley gives him shit for it and Gates knows the FBI is after him. He says he needs the letters. Apparently he has copies of the original Silence Dogood letters. Mrs. Silence Dogood was the pen name of Benjamin Franklin when he wrote for the New England Courant after he was denied under his real name*

Warlock: I’ve actually seen one of the letters.

Neyz: The original?

Warlock: Hell no, I read it in a history book.

 

*Abigail tries to run with the Declaration but Ben stops her. She says she’s going with them and Ben reluctantly has to bring her along.Meanwhile the FBI investigate the room Gates had set up. They had the scans of the Silence Dogood letters there. Its established Patrick Gates has the originals.  Meanwhile Ian has figured out the Silence letters on his own. Some FBI guy gives the history of the Silence Dogood letters to Sadusky*

Warlock: For once they’re accurate.

 

*Riley says to duct tape Abigail and Ben says no. Meanwhile Sadusky wants everything on Gates. Back at the Gates’ house, Ben and his father talk. Patrick “Is she pregnant?” Abigail “I look pregnant?” Ben asks for the Dogood letters, Patrick says he has a life but Ben has nothing. Patrick tries to throw him out and Ben says he found the Charlotte. Patrick starts to think about it but when Ben says all he found was a clue, he reverts back. Patrick says the treasure is a myth. Abigail takes Patrick’s side and Ben says to find out right then and there. He pulls out the Declaration and goes over how to bring about the invisible map and Patrick walks in not knowing what it is. He says to throw it in the oven and everyone says “Noooo” at the same time*

Warlock: Hahahahaha.

 

*Ben wants to use lemons but Abigail stops him. She wants to do it. Abigail takes a q-tip with the reagent and finds a symbol in the top right corner. Patrick’s tip on heat helps. They uncover the map but its a cypher. They need the letters since the clue was “The key in Silence undetected” Abigail figures out its a Ottendorf cypher. They match up to the Dogood letters. Patrick says John Adams Gates found them and he doesn’t have them. He says he donated them to the Franklin Institute in Philly.  Patrick picks up the Declaration and figures out its the real one. He freaks out “You stole it??” Riley points the finger at Ben*

Warlock: Even better.

 

*Patrick gives him a tongue lashing and says Ben dragged him into it.  Ben says “We can’t have that.” Next frame the FBI shows up at Patrick’s house and he’s all tied up, claiming he was robbed*

Warlock: Good thinking Ben

 

*Sadusky takes Patrick’s statement. Apparently Ben has stolen his car as well. Riley “Your dad’s got a sweet ride.”

Warlock: Yeah.

 

*Riley makes fun of Ben while Abigail counts the money in one of the books Ben took. Back at the Franklin Institute, a young black boy (Yves Michel-Beneche) on his way out bumps into Ian on his way in. He’s figured out the cipher for Riley. The kid blasts Riley for his penmanship and Riley pays hm off to get the last 4 letters. Ian spots the kid and what he’s doing and begins to figure it out. Riley “The vision to see the treasured past comes as the timely shadow crosses in front of the house of pass and….” The kid goes back outside and Ian follows him. Riley figures out the rest of the riddle on it by reading an ad for the Liberty Bell, “Stow”. Ian stops the boy and bribes him to tell him what he knows*

Warlock: Ian is back in the game.

 

*Abigail and Ben change in an Urban Outfitters and share bonding moments.  Riley runs up and tells Ben and Abi about the riddle. Abigail says John Pass and John Stow cast the bell and Riley is miffed. Ben says the cipher was a way to find the way to read the map. Abigail says the shadow cast in front of the bell, Ben says Independence Hall. The shadow resorts to a specific time. Ben takes a hundred dollar bill and shows the time on the clock on it, it says 2:22. The clerk says its almost 3. Ben says they missed their chance but Riley says they haven’t. Ben asks why and Riley stops to gloat for outsmarting him for the first time*

Warlock: I would have gloated too.

 

*Riley says daylight savings wasn’t established until World War 1. If its 3 PM now then it was 2 PM in 1776. Benjamin Franklin was the first to suggest daylight savings*

Neyz: Learn something new every day.

 

*Ian’s crew figures out the Liberty Bell clue as well, they’re on their way. Ben and Riley make their way to the actual Independence Hall part of the building.  Ian and Shaw are in front of the actual bell then Ian figures out to go Independence Hall. Up in the bell tower, Ben says the Centennial Bell replaced the Liberty Bell in 1876. They spot the shadow that points to some bricks. Ben makes his way toward the shadow. He spots a specific brick with the Templar symbol on it. He cuts it out and inside are Ben Franklin’s bifocals. Ian makes it to the belltower and spots nothing. Ben says “The vision to see the treasured past” and gets the Declaration out. He rolls out the Declaration and stops. “The last time this was here, it was being signed”

Warlock: Interesting way to look at that.

 

*They turn the Declaration over and Ben puts the glasses on. He sees “Heere at the wall” and Riley protests. Ben doesn’t want Ian to have both the glasses and the Declaration, so he takes the glasses and tells Abigail to watch over the Declaration. They split up and Shaw goes after the girl. Viktor (Shippen) will meet them. Another chase scene happens with a butcher lady (Sharon Wilkins) giving Abi refuge from Shaw. Meanwhile Ian’s crew shoots at Ben. He knocks one guy out and the other chases*

Warlock: Neyz you want some action, how about a chase scene?

Neyz: Nooooo

 

*Phil (Stephen A Pope) corners Ben and he tosses Phil the container, only its empty. Abigail has the Declaration. Abigail gets knocked over by a moped driver and drops it. Ian picks it up and nods at her. Shaw and Viktor run up and Ian says to let the others go*

Warlock: He’s not a savage.

 

*Ben wants to regroup but the FBI arrest him. Abigail and Riley make a run for it. They regroup and wonder what to do. Abigail says they’ll need Ian. Sandusky grills Ben “Here’s your options. Door number 1, you go to prison for a very long time. Door number 2, you help us find the Declaration of Independence and you still go to prison for a very long time but you feel better inside.” Ben “Is there a door that doesn’t involve going to prison?” Sandusky “Someone’s gotta go to prison, Ben”  Ian then calls and says meet him on the USS Intrepid deck and bring the glasses. Come alone and the Declaration won’t be destroyed*

Warlock: Imagine if that happened?

 

*Ben is monitored by the FBI as he goes to meet Ian. One of Ian’s men kills Ben’s mic and Shaw tells Ben what to do. Ben leaves and the FBI spots him. Ben “I’m not against you, but I found door number 3 and I’m taking it” He jumps off the deck of the Intrepid into the water below. One of Ian’s men is waiting for him in a sub below. They swim for it. Agent Dawes (Annie Parisse) can’t find him. Ben meets up with Shaw and Ben wants to know what happened to Abigail, apparently she’s calling the shots. She needed Ian to bust him out since he’s a criminal. Riley and Abigail has Ian by the balls and says if he double crosses them, the FBI will know. The clue is at Wall Street. Abigail said the deal was to give Ian the treasure*

Warlock: Uh oh.

 

*Ian asks where the treasure is. Ben says the clue is Wall Street because Dutch settlers built a wall to keep the British out on De Heere street which is now known as Broadway. Ben goes to leave but Ian says he’s got his father and sure enough, Patrick is tied up in Ian’s car. Now Ben has to play along. Ben “Are you alright?” Patrick “What do you think? I’m a hostage” Ian’s men have also rounded up Abigail and Riley. Ben pulls out the map and uses the secret part of the bifocals to find “Beneath Parkington Lane” Ben figures its beneath the church. Ian, Viktor, Phil, Riley, Shaw, Patrick, Ben and the others make their way to the base of the church.  Riley finds Parkington Lane, its not a street, its a burial chamber. Viktor smashes it open and they lug a coffin out. They open it and its just a corpse. Riley says “Who wants to go down the creepy tomb first?” Ian tells Phil and Viktor to say behind and to shoot anyone that’s not him if they come out. Ben, Shaw, Ian, Patrick, Abigail and Riley head down the tomb*

Warlock: Neyz, isn’t this exciting?

Neyz: Mmhmm.

 

*Ben lights a torch and they continue exploring. Ben kisses Abigail and they continue. Powell (Stewart Finlay-McLennan) “Why does that never happen tome?”*

Warlock: Ha!

 

*Ben lights a chandelier and sends it away for light. Patrick doesn’t want to use the dumbwaiter because of 200 years of termites and rot. Ben says its okay.  They all make their way down the stairs but Shaw steps on a broken board and plunges to his death. The staircase crumbles and now its every man for himself.  Ben nearly falls but Patrick saves him. Abigail says she would have dropped Ben to save the Declaration. Riley says he would have dropped them both. Ian is pissed that Shaw is gone. Now everyone left makes it to the bottom if the staircase. They enter a chamber and realize its empty.  Patrick lights a torch and Powell asks where the treasure is. Riley is pissed too.  Ben flips and says the treasure is gone. Ian is not amused. Ian and Powell take off and threaten to leave Ben there. Ian goes to shoot Ben and Patrick says the lantern is the clue. He says Boston in the old north church is the next clue. Ian and Powell leave them behind*

Neyz: What a dick.

 

*Ben and Patrick smile, they put one over on Ian. They find an eye painted on the wall “Through the all seeing eye”. Ben hits a switch and the wall opens up. The chamber is ramsacked. Ben says the treasure is gone. Patrick says the room is real and no matter if they find it or not, the treasure was real. Patrick says he’s proud of Ben for bringing them this far. Ben is still distraught. Riley says they’re still trapped. He asks Ben for the way out and Ben says there’s a secondary shaft somewhere. They snoop around and find an opening in the wall. Ben recognizes its for the pipe he found in the Charlotte. He sticks it in and the wall opens up. They enter through and…TADAA….treasure everywhere. All through the ages*

Neyz: Mount treasure island!

 

*Riley hugs a statue and Ben puts down his torch which lights up the room*

Warlock: Heh, watch, the treasure all goes up in flames.

 

*The treasure stretches for half a mile*

Neyz: Where’s the selfie stick?

 

*Riley finds the stairs and the next frame shows everyone climbing out of the crypt. Ben uses his cell phone to call Sandusky. Ben hands him the Declaration and says “Just like that”. He says he’ll bribe Sandusky with 10 billion dollars worth of treasure. Sandusky uncovers his ring, he’s a freemason and a knight of Templar*

Warlock: Haha that’s awesome.

 

*Ben says to spread the treasure across the world. He wants Dr.Chase and Riley free of charges and that the Gates family gets credit for finding the treasure. He doesn’t want to go to prison and Sandusky says someone has to. Ben says he’s got an idea. Next frame is Ian and his crew getting arrested outside of Old North Church. He spots Ben and laughs. Next frame is Abigail, Riley and Ben walking, Riley is pissed Ben didn’t take any of the treasure. Ben says next time they find the treasure, Riley gets it all*

Warlock: Yeah, they made a sequel. See how that turns out.

 

*Riley’s one percent of the treasure is a brand new corvette. Ben’s one percent is Charles Carroll’s old estate. Abigail drew him a map and he chases after her. End credits*

Warlock: Yayyyy its over.

 

Neyzore Blades Assessment: 7 out of 10

The Warlock’s Assesment: I give it a 9 out of 10, almost historically accurate but 1 point off for saying Carroll was a freemason, he wasn’t.

Final Grade: 8 out of 10 – Outstanding

 

*The Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: That was a great, great movie. It was half history and half movie which was a perfect mix. It kept you entertained from beginning to end. Well that aboyt wraps up another goodtastic adventure, have a pleasant evening.

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