Thursday, December 27, 2007

International Treasure

"The best one can say for this franchise," writes Matt Seitz reviewing National Treasure: Book of Secrets, "is that almost every character is educated and proud of it." But I'm feeling a bit more generous (if not as incisive). The series also encapsulates contemporary squabbles about the nature of Christian faith.

In the first film, John Voigt says the treasure isn't real. It's just a myth to keep the British occupied with endless searching. Cage responds in his Cagey way, "I refuse to believe that." Later he adds, "I just want to know it's not just something in my head or in my heart," and hence continues the pursuit.

Bad as Cage's "acting" can be, he captures in those few lines what it means to be a Christian. Either what we're after is real or it isn't. It's either Voigt or Cage. To call that a choice between the modern and the postmodern fabulously misses the point. To think one can navigate a place between Voigt and Cage on matters essential is enough to inspire yet another thesis (2.75).