Shuli and I went last night to see "National Treasure" with Nicholas Cage. I was nervous at first about it because I had an impression that it was a scary Tomb Raider-like movie. I do not like scary movies. But it turned out to be SO FUN. As Shuli said: "It's Goonies for Grown-ups!" Yes, indeed.
In some ways it's very formulaic: Cage's character is searching for a lost treasure; the secret for finding the first clue has been in his family for several generations. Of course, there's a bad guy who ALSO wants the treasure, so the idea is whether the good guys will get there first without being killed by the bad guys. You know from about 20 minutes in that the movie will end well, that either the good guys will win or, if they lose, they will be philosophical about it, and that anyway the good guy will get the girl. It's also obvious that there will be no disgusting scenes of people's faces melting (Raiders of the Lost Ark) or weird-looking giants (Goonies) to give you nightmares later. So you can sit back and enjoy the ride.
And, considering that you can tell in advance that it will end OK, there is enough suspense to keep you going. Feel-good fun with just enough of a kick to make it grown up.
Plus, this is a smart person's treasure hunt!!! It's all based on knowledge of American History! The good guy is a geek who knows all about the founding fathers! The girl is a geek who works in the National Archives! A gorgeous geek, but still, a smart lady. And I love American History! Shout out to Mr. Meisse, my high school social studies teacher!