troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Headscratchers: National Treasure
  • In the first film, one of the first things the FBI do after identifying Ben Gates as the thief of the Do I is go to his father's house. Thinking that Ben would contact his father, correctly as Ben had only recently left his father's house. Wouldn't the next thing be keeping a watch on the father? Obviously yes, but then HOW did Ian manage to kidnap him later on to force Ben to help the villains?
  • In the first film, the Founding Fathers, all freemasons, apparently hid their masonic treasures from the British. But wait... weren't the Freemasons an originally British organisation, with their Grand Lodge in London? And weren't most freemasons back then Britons anyway? Including a number of British statesmen and military officers? Yes. Yes, they were. Apparently, their actions weren't for the sake of Freemasonry as much as rampant nationalist agenda.
    • Well, if there's one thing known about secret organizations, is how fractured they are, it's entirely possible they were in an Enemy Civil War at that point, with American Freemasons VS British Freemasons. It's also possible British Freemasons wanted to free America but lacked the power to do so.
    • The whole point of them hiding the treasure was that they believed the world wasn't ready for it, and it could only be allowed to be found by someone who was wise enough to use it properly. The implication is that the Freemasons included their own mother country in the You Are Not Ready camp, most likely because of their treatment of the colonists.
  • Ben's Dad points out that there are a lot of clues, and everyone who's tried to follow them ended up wasting their life. Of course, this makes no sense considering Ben was apparently the first person to figure out the first clue, but hey.
    • Actually, it's stated that Ben has been doing this for awhile, so presumably there were a chain of less impressive clues leading up to them finding the boat.
      • In the flashback at the beginning of the movie, we see that the original clue, passed from someone who actually helped hide the treasure to Ben's ancestor, is "The secret lies with Charlotte". Charlotte is the name of the ship Ben blows up in the Arctic, where he finds the pipe. The pipe leads to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration leads to the Silence Dogood letters. The Dogood letters lead to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where special glasses are hidden. The glasses show a new message on the Declaration, leading to Trinity Church in New York City. In a hidden chamber under Trinity Church, the pipe acts as a key. That's six clues, all found by Ben in a couple days. Ben's dad's belief that there was a long, long chain of clues was simply a mistake, although it could be more generously interpreted as a statement that no one ever managed to figure out the first clue (who/what Charlotte was).
      • The clues in this case would have been to show that a) the treasure actually existed and was worth pursuing, b) Charlotte was a ship and not a woman, and c) where she froze in the Arctic. There would have been a not-insignificant amount of research and chasing Red Herrings to get to the opening of the film.
      • To add to the above post, considering where the 'Charlotte' ended up, one can believe it would take modern day technology to simulate the weather patterns to discover exactly where the ship was frozen. Therefore, it would make sense that Ben (with Riley's computer skills) would be the first Gates to find it. Furthermore, the other clues such as the Declaration and the glasses were all in places that the Founding Fathers knew would stand the test of time and could be found easily in the future (providing you were smart enough). Why they thought the 'Charlotte' would last, one can only guess.
    • Patrick may not have been specifically talking about the Templar treasure, but other treasure hunting expeditions. Especially in archeology a lot of times "Clues" are just wild interpretations of facts, and the way they got Ian off their backs was by throwing out another "clue" and it was good enough that Ian didn't know the difference. The story is about the fact that they finally have an actual list of clues to follow, and not just hunches or guesses. The path to find the Charlotte was actually the most realistic in regards to real life treasure hunting.
  • It occurs to me that the entire plot of the first movie was completely unnecessary. Ben and Ian find the pipe that points to the Declaration. Ian's first instinct is to steal it, and because Ben objects, Ian tries to blow him up. Why didn't they at least try to get permission to examine the back of the Declaration?
    • They do. Riley says as much twice during the interview with Dr. Chase.
      "You mean a treasure map."
      "And... that's where we lost the Department of Homeland Security."
    • What I meant was, why didn't Ian consider using the Pipe to try to get permission to view the Declaration?
      • Because Ian is smart enough to realize it's not likely to work? And that if he goes to the National Archives with his idea of looking at the back, he will automatically be suspect #1 if he decides to steal it later?
      • Vitally important national documents (such as the declaration) are not for touching. By the public anyway. There is a serious concern about the integrity of such documents, and that, given their age, they could be irrevocably damaged. Plus, if Ian showed them the pipe, they'd just take over, taking the pipe and possibly using the declaration to find the treasure.
      • Um, how? Does the government have any legal claim on the pipe?
      • Well, it is technically stolen property. Also, Ian seems to have a criminal record.
      • How is it stolen property? I daresay after two hundred years all statutes of limitations have expired and the Ben/Ian team have every right to claim the Charlotte and everything aboard as theirs under salvage rights. The pipe belongs to them, and the government can't seize it without cause. And what cause is there?
      • Just for the heck of it... they didn't do much research for many other things, so this Troper sees no reason why had Ian (or Ben if he had it) shown them the pipe and explained things, the government could've seized it by claiming "imminent domain" (even though in real life imminent domain doesn't work that way, well, neither did the Freemasons).
      • And by imminent domain surely you mean Eminent Domain. Did not do the research, indeed.
      • Final note: Eminent Domain wouldn't have worked because, as another troper said, it doesn't work that way. Also, the Pipe would've been good evidence to prove there's something on the back of the Declaration...
      • Think of it this way: Your family has spent centuries chasing the treasure of the Templars. You finally have a tangible clue that will help you find the treasure. Do you approach the government and ask for help? You'll get help, but you'll lose all credit or claim. There was no way Ben or Ian could ask to see the Declaration, explain why, and still be able to get a big payday (which was what Ian wanted) or a proper place in history (which is what Ben wanted). While Ben is more willing to give up what he's after, Ian really wants all that money.
      • Legally the government may not have able to seize the pipe, but who's going to say no to the American government? Short of shooting/busting their way free of the building, they couldn't have taken the pipe back. And while it's possible they could have taken the government to court to recover the pipe (though winning would not be a Foregone Conclusion), by the time that happened the government could already have found and claimed the treasure by the same salvage rights/statute of limitations argument above, and possession is nine-tenths of the law.
      • Actually it's quite interesting that everyone's overlooking the most obvious way the government could have seized the pipe: being that it's arguably an art piece crafted by the Founding Fathers, they could have had it declared a national treasure.
      • That's not what declaring something a national treasure means or does. Really, there's no legitimate legal means for the US government to seize the pipe from Ben. That's not to say they wouldn't do it illegally and let the courts sort it out, but there is no "Haha, gimme" law for something without national security concerns.
  • In #2, how the hell did Ben do "his country a great service" by finding the city of gold? If there was a deliberate cover-up (Mt. Rushmore), then the government knew where the city of gold was the whole damn time.
    • Most Americans would agree that "the country" and "the government" are not the same thing. Also, only the President knew where it was, as only he had access to the little black book which revealed its location. Which itself begs the question, if every President with a budget crisis knew there was a City of Gold in the USA, why did none of them exploit it?
      • That would involve substantial changes to the geography of Mount Rushmore that could not have been gotten away with before the revelation of the existence of the city. After that, of course, archaeologists would be all over any President who tried it.
      • They would now, but preservation was not archeology's strong suit until fairly recently, especially since it was an idle gentlemens' hobby for hundreds of years.
      • Maybe they were afraid the gold would flood the market and make the price of gold crash. Remember, the answer to most economic crises is NOT more money.
  • In #2, where was all that water in the end coming from? If there was that much flowing down every day, then any possible reservoir that could be found on top of a mountain would have been long drained away.
    • There wasn't a lot flowing down until they broke the mechanism.
  • How did finding the city of gold prove Ben's ancestor innocent?
    • Because it lends credence to the hypothesis that he was killed protecting a secret that he was, in fact, killed to protect?
  • How did the city of gold even stand? Gold is soft and heavy, and thus any structures made of solid gold would collapse under their own weight. And why would anyone be stupid enough to make a city out of one of the worst building materials imaginable?
    • Who says the buildings are absolutely solid gold? I mean, there isn't that much gold in the rest of the civilized world combined. It's more likely that the buildings are made out of normal materials such as stone and wood, with layers of gold and gilding added on as liberally as possible.
      • This would explain why Riley was able to pick up a large brick of gold with one hand, and place it into his backpack with little to no effort.
    • If you remember the scene, the buildings were pyramidal and would have supported their weight. Gold being soft and heavy would have little to do with this. If they had made extravagant arches, then this troper would doubt the gold's ability to support itself.
    • Plus the Mayans valued the colour more than the purity, much to the disappointment of the Europeans.
    • We seem to be forgetting that there is a much simpler answer to this question- Hollywood often makes decisions based on the Rule of Cool.
    • It's plot-gold, an alloy of gold and narrativium commonly found in fiction. Depending on the ratio of gold to narrativium, it can be heavy enough that a miner can't lift a single 6"x4"x2" brick or light enough that Riley Poole can toss a brick three or four times that volume from one hand to the other before putting it in his backpack.
      • Not unrealistic: a 3:1 alloy of gold and copper is quite strong, which is why it's used to make rings, whereas pure gold could never hold the shape of a ring.
  • How did the original architects of the city of gold even get to it, considering all the traps in their way?
    • One would think they put the traps in after building it.
      • One would think they put the traps in after they left.
  • Is there any reason, any reason at all Ben and Riley thought Ian stood a chance stealing the Declaration of Independence?
    • Well, the government's contemptuous dismissal of every attempt to warn them of the threat might have given Ben & Riley some doubts as to their diligence in the matter. There's also that Ben & Riley had been working with Ian for some time on salvage missions beforehand, and would thus have had plausible opportunities to be impressed with Ian's resources, ability, and determination, even if they didn't know until after the beginning of the movie that Ian also applied those qualities to criminal ends.
      • I personally believe it was Ian's attempt was only a smokescreen for them. They wanted the declaration themselves, and if they well and truly believed that Ian would and could steal it, it gave them the freedom to steal it themselves to protect it. They're just trying to make themselves feel better.
      • Well, you can think that all you want, but the fact that Ian confronted Ben in the act of taking the Declaration out, deep in the inner sanctum where all the toughest security was supposed to be, kind of says that they were right about Ian's chances of stealing it being pretty good.
  • Furthermore, why did they think the Declaration would be "safe" if they stole it first? How exactly is it more securely protected being carried around in a plastic tube than it is locked up in a high-security vault?
    • Because the villains know where the high-security vault is.
    • So? That information was in the Library of Congress (since Ben and Riley looked it up in there) where anyone could get at it.
    • Three points to consider. 1) If our heroes had successfully stolen the Declaration before the villains arrived just in time to chase them, the villains would have been left with absolutely no idea where the hell they, and thus the Declaration, had gone. 2. If our heroes hadn't stolen the Declaration when they did, the villains would have gotten it, as they'd made it to the vault past all the security too. 3) In addition to keeping the Declaration safe, Ben also wanted to read the back of the Declaration and find the treasure himself. In order to do this, he has to steal it anyway.
      • That's what I was trying to say above. The villains know where the Declaration 'lives,' so to speak, but they wouldn't know where it was after Ben stole it.
    • I must point out that they didn't steal it from the vault, they stole it from the preservation room. Riley had it moved there during the gala (so it would be easier to steal) by triggering the heat sensors on the display case. While it wouldn't have been moved there if it weren't for Ben and Riley, Ian's men could have set off the sensors just as easily (and presumably did so considering they knew it would be there), so your point is pretty valid.
      • I have a feeling that the Declaration and all the other documents in the Rotunda would have been replaced with duplicates anyway, based on the amount of light in that room. Anyone who was visited the National Archives knows that that room is incredibly dark to prevent fading. This is something that they completely glossed over. On an interesting note, this is why the Constitution is so much easier to read that the Declaration. The Declaration was on display in the Library of Congress, which caused it to fade badly. The Constitution was kept in Fort Knox for a long period of time, preventing it from being exposed to light.
    • Also, it's fairly obvious that because all Ian cared about was the treasure, he would not have been particularly careful with the Declaration, and in fact likely would have discarded or destroyed it once he had all the clues and the treasure (to get the Feds off his back if nothing else). Also nowhere is it suggested amongst his various skills and knowledge base that he knows how to handle and preserve old documents—so even if he wanted to take proper care of the Declaration, he probably wouldn't have been able to without Ben or Abigail's help. So stealing the Declaration before Ian did prevented this fate, as well as the loss of the treasure.
  • How did a clearly Mayan city end up in South Dakota anyway, sure it's said to be Native American but those in the north weren't well known for building four sided pyramids.
    • They came north, and then built them. Simple (if you don't think too hard about the logistics of it, as the writers clearly didn't— call it Rule Of Tried Really Hard To Be Cool).
      • Also wasn't the only nonnative to see it, taken there by canoe, from Florida?
    • Why do people keep saying it's Mayan? I could have sworn the Native American tribe they spoke of in the movie was the Lakota, who were native to the North/South Dakota region. And the city they speak of is Cibola (the myth of which is European and pre-dates Colombus), not El Dorado (the city supposedly in Central/South American).
      • The architecture, art, and general visual style of the City of Gold was clearly Mayan, or at the very least something Central American. The Lakota may have been involved in building it, but they sure as anything didn't design it.
      • Historically, the Lakota (and other Great Plains tribes) had no tradition of massive architecture or large scale permanent art; they were nomads. If some great culture that did have those traditions had occupied the northern part of the Great Plains, and the evidence of its existence had since been lost, there's no reason to suppose that it wouldn't have had aesthetics similar to those of the Mayans and other Mesoamerican societies. Indeed, it would probably have had to be an offshoot of those same societies...
      • No, it was the Olmecs they kept referencing. The earliest known Mexican civilization, who never developed metallurgy and certainly never got as far north as South Dakota.
  • Why did the government believe the Declaration of Independence would be hard to steal? As proved both by the protagonists, and by the antagonists, stealing the document was incredibly easy if the thieves in question were determined. It just really bugs this troper how insanely easy it was to steal the document, since apparently all they needed was to shine a laser on the heat sensors, then just walk in and grab it. Not to mention how incredibly stupid the government is. They get a tip that the Declaration of Independence might be stolen, but they wave it off since the DOI was in such a secure vault...so their best idea was to take DOI out of the vault? Even if they couldn't just replace the sensors, you'd think they'd put a bit more security around the room since it's the f*cking Declaration of Independence. Given how incredibly retarded the government seems to be regarding security in this universe, it would seem stealing historical documents would be a common occurrence.
    • "They get a tip that the Declaration of Independence might be stolen, but they wave it off since the DOI was in such a secure vault...so their best idea was to take DOI out of the vault?" To be fair, the tips were given to the FBI and the Dept. of Homeland Security, neither of which thought the tips were valid (so much so that the agents who took them apparantly didn't even report them to their superiors), whereas the decision to take the DOI out of the vault was made by the people in the Archives, who didn't know about those tips.
    • Keep in mind Ben had a rather unorthodox method of getting past the coded security system and Ian conveniently took out all the security for him. Though I do question the intelligence of any government facility that has "Valley Forge" as a password.
      • I think "Valley Forge" was just supposed to be Dr. Chase's personal password.
      • Not to mention that using "Valley Forge" isn't really a sign of stupidity. Yes it's a famous historical place, but there are any number of other places which could have been used as the password. And there isn't exactly a direct connection between "Declaration of Independence" and "Valley Forge" other than "both connected with the American Revolution"; it certainly isn't the first thing I'd think of in connection with the Declaration. (That would be Independence Hall, which wasn't even called that then.)
    • The government assumed no one would know the document had been moved (presumably there was a decoy on display, after all) and they specifically picked a night when security would be otherwise occupied. Both teams planned basically the same method to get to the box (Ian's was conspicuously more obtrusive), thus they conveniently ran into each other at the same time as well.
    • Let's also not forget what's being stolen: The Declaration of Independence, one of the most famous documents in modern times. Assuming you did manage to steal it, the government would assume you did it for one thing: money. And how do you get money from stealing a physical object? You sell it. Who in their right mind would buy the Declaration of Independence? Even ignoring the fact that there would be a massive national search for the damn thing, you couldn't even show it to anyone without being arrested eventually. Suffice to say, the authorities can't conceive of anyone stealing the thing because there's no valid reason (in their minds) to steal it.
      • I suppose you could ransom it back to the government.
      • It's also a valid terrorist target. 'Al Qaeda steals Declaration of Independence, releases videotape of it being used for toilet paper' is what you call a psychological warfare punch to the groin.
      • Jeffrey Archer even wrote a thriller based on that idea.
      • The exact same people who buy stolen pieces of priceless art. The entire point of having a personal collection of rare or priceless things is the selfish desire to own something that is highly prized by others, and what is more prized that the founding document of the world's only current superpower? There are unfortunately hundreds of pricks in the world who'd pay good money for that sort of smugness.
  • I was completely lost during NT2. Nicholas Cage gets all pissed because his great-grandpappy killed the greatest President this country has ever had, so he finds the city of gold and he's happy. How the hell did that work out? Oh, and then Riley gets his gas guzzling car back after his book flopped. I doubt even his mother read it. His best friends didn't.
    • Specifically, Ben was mad that his great-grandfather was being named as part of a conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln, which was contradicted by his family legend. The film is admittedly a little vague on how finding the city of gold exonerated his great-grandfather, but presumably proving the truth of the family legend had something to do with it.
      • Basically correct. Gates diary supported some hand-me-down story of an ancestor dying in line of fire trying to (somehow) thwart the assassination of President Lincoln. Villain shows up and says, basically, "No, he was a part of the conspiracy to kill the president, see I have proof of his name on a list of people associated with a "conspiracy" at the time." Which everyone, ignorant of the "lost city of gold" conspiracy, assumes is the assassination. In reality the Gates know that it was a conspiracy to hide the lost city of gold, which they can only prove if the lost city of gold exists at all. The assassination folks had simply targeted Gates as a likely candidate for unraveling the cipher that leads them onward towards the city of gold which they could then use to fund a new confederate army so that the, "south will rise again" now that they had killed President Lincoln. All of this is from in film dialogue, not conjecture. The gas guzzling car is returned to Riley as an after affect of the President somehow absolving him of all back taxes, as per the note on the gas guzzler reading, "All yours, tax free!" Wow, big man that president. Gets a whole city of gold in exchange for a few million in taxes.
  • The plot of NT2 — basically, bad guy has clues to the location of one of the greatest hidden treasures of all time, but needs Ben to help locate it. "Sorry that I smeared your grandpappy's good name, but it was the only way to get you to help me locate this place." As opposed to... I dunno... ASKING him? It's not like Ben isn't willing to go running off in search of lost treasures on a moment's notice anyway. Why would Ben have said no?
    • The bad guy was clearly carrying a Villain Ball.
    • More specifically: he's a jerk and is trying to mess with Cage while exploiting his help. Then when they're all trapped in a cave and about to die he has a Heel-Face Turn and decides to stop being such a jerk, which requires him to make up a weak apology about how slandering his ancestors was "the only way" to get Ben's help. Ben's a pretty forgiving guy, and they have bigger problems anyway.
      • Plus, there is always some vague justification for Ben's actions. In the first, Ian would probably have destroyed the Declaration if he obtained it. In the second, Ben is protecting his family's good name. Do you really think that he would have kidnapped the President of the United States if some random guy had walked up to him and said "hey, I need you to find the city of gold so that I can take credit for it." On second thought, he probably would have created some flimsy justification for that scenario as well.
  • More NT2: He kidnaps the president (no spoilers here — it's in the trailer), who's actually pretty cool about it, understands, and agrees to help. Then he sends the FBI after Ben, prompting some crazy chases. Then when Ben comes back, the President honors him and says that he wasn't kidnapped — they just got trapped together. So why didn't he just say that in the first place? (And yes, the obvious answer is, "It's an excuse to have the group chased," but it still makes no sense.)
    • The President would have been forced to ask what they were talking about, which would have forced him to come up with a lame cover story on the spur of the moment or reveal the existence of the secretest book of secrets.
      • Not really. He's not anymore obligated at the beginning than at the end, and he doesn't have them a thing, he's the president for crying out loud!
      • The president said the door accidentally shut, not that either of them shut it. They needn't have been talking about anything. And claiming he was kidnapped would raise plenty of questions, unless the Secret Service and the press think kidnapping the President and letting him go is something one would do for no reason.
    • The Secret Service and the FBI tend to have pretty hair-trigger reactions when it comes to that kind of thing. When it looked like Ben had kidnapped the President, and that someone who wasn't supposed to be there had just social-engineered his way into the President's presence, they freaked out and started trying to catch him. Since unlike, say, the Salahis, Ben then proceeded to go on the run... they kept chasing him. It took a while for the President's order to stop chasing him to get back down the chain of command to the people who actually were chasing him.
    • Um...I know the movie is a Guilty Pleasure, has some Plot Holes, and plays with history, but that's no reason to outright ignore fairly easy-to-understand dialogue. Ben took a chance in 'kidnapping' the President to find out where the Book of Secrets was so he can find the clue to the City of Gold. Although the President knows about this clue, he's never actually seen the city to know it's real, nor does he know whether Ben's ancestor really was trying to stop the South from getting it or was part of the Lincoln assassination. Since he didn't know, he basically gave Ben the chance to find out one way or the other and prove it—but he kept the Feds on his trail just in case it turned out Ben was wrong or a liar. If Ben hadn't found the city, the President would have pressed charges, so the Feds had to be allowed to chase him. Finding the city proved Ben was telling the truth, hence why the President then said the 'kidnapping' was a misunderstanding and Ben was innocent. In other words, the whole reason he "didn't say that in the first place" is because he was waiting to find out if Ben was telling the truth, and was using the threat of federal agents in pursuit to put the pressure on Ben to find the city if it was real.
  • How on Earth did the bad guy in NT2 get guns into England, where firearms are banned, and then apparently get away with using them in plain sight?
    • It's an American film. All villains have guns.
    • Smuggling weapons is hardly a problem for professional mercenaries. As for engaging in a gunfight outside Buckingham Palace and a car chase through inner city London without getting the attention of a single police officer, that's another matter.
    • Don't be naive. How do drug dealers get marijuana, cocaine, crack, or heroin on the streets of America when all are effectively banned? Plus you are pointing out the number one argument of the NRA in America; if you ban guns only the people who care about obeying laws will be without guns. For the second part about no police showing up, you are correct; it's just a plot hole.
  • Okay, in the first movie, they stole the Declaration of Independence so Ian wouldn't get it, but in the sequel they seem to like to break into places for no reason other than to give us more heist movie scenes.
    • A: The stuff in Mount Vernon, Buckingham Palace, etc are part of a string of clues. B: Rule of Cool
  • Seriously, how many "greatest treasures of all time" are hidden in the US?
    • As many as they need to keep making movies. Mind, there's nothing saying the same can't go for other countries; this plucky group of treasure hunters just happens to be American.
      • Actually, Indiana Jones and Lara Croft have covered other countries pretty well, I think.
      • The rest are hidden away in the Library and the Warehouse.
    • The series is called "National Treasure". While people tend to think this just refers to the literal treasure they're searching for, a major aspect of the movies is dealing with things that are, in real life, actually considered national treasures... the Declaration, the Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore, etc. Thus since the heroes are Americans, it's not that they only look for treasures in America, it's that they properly deal with American national treasures.
  • That President's book is awfully thin for a book which presidents have been writing in regularly for over a century and which contains all of the nation's secrets.
    • It doesn't contain *all* the nation's secrets, just the most secretest of secrets. The ones that only the actual President himself could know.
  • It bugs me that the kid at the easter egg roll knew previously unreleased and possibly classified information about Ben's great grandfather and a page from the Booth diary that had only just turned up a few days previously.
    • I think we're supposed to presume that the discovery of the Booth diary page and the incrimination of Ben's great-granddaddy was headline news for some reason. Because the lineage of history professors matters so much to the general public.
      • Celebrity lineage!
      • New information about one of the most infamous assassins of all time? Not exactly difficult to see that getting decent coverage (I mean, Octomom aint that notable, but she gets a lot of coverage.)
      • About one of the most infamous assassinations, not about the assassin himself. Almost nobody cares or even knows about Samuel Mudd, and even fewer about George Atzerodt (who was picked from among the actual conspirators because A: he had a major part to play, and B: he had a really cool last name).
  • In Paris: "Oh, cool! We get to break into Buckingham Palace!" In London: "Oh no, we have to break into the White House!"
  • I'm sorry, but no sane person would get that bent out of shape about their ancestor killing Lincoln (not that Ben is particuarly sane or anything). Okay, it would suck, but Ben has never met his great-grandfather and the whole movie is built around a Clear My Name scenario for someone who's been dead for over a century. Frankly, it just makes the Gates family come off as clannish.
    • Well, yes, but considering that the family has been attempting to solve the mystery from the first movie for how many generations now the Gates clan has never quite come across a normal American family.
      • Even the treasure hunting made more sense. The Gates came off as a bunch of loons, but they stayed within limits. In the movie Gates only stole the DOI to prevent Ian from getting it, and while he's at it, might as well solve the puzzle and get filthy rich/spread the wealth. In the sequel they commit several crimes including messing around with desks of important leaders, which are pretty big crimes, I'm sure. He even kidnapped the president. With very little thought. All for what? Because some long since dead guy that nobody really gives a damn about can have his name cleared? Even if the Gates clan was that insane, their entire motivation was even stupider, some guy ran a big plan so he could find the city of gold, when in fact he could've just asked the entire time. The whole premise is just dumb.
    • It could be that the Gates just care that much about making sure history gets its facts right.
    • A lot of people take their family lineage seriously. There are societies made up of people descended from someone who fought in the American Revolution or the Civil War. This is an ancestor they thought had died for his country, something the family was clearly proud (and even boastful) of, who turned out could have committed one of the worst acts of treason imaginable. It's understandable he'd be so upset.
    • None of which actually makes them rational or sane. Just because you care, and for you history is Serious Business, doesn't mean you're justified in committing felonies in multiple nations.
      • People who care about genealogy are no less sane or "rational" just because one doesn't care for genealogy. Let's try to be understanding of differing views and value systems.
      • Lots of people care about genealogy, and they aren't willing to become international felons over it. That's what makes them sane and rational, and Gates not.
      • Well, the movies outright state that both Ben and his father are addicted to adventure, to the point where Ben's mom divorced his dad, so there's that. And generally, most historians are rather obsessive about getting their facts straight.
      • It isn't even just caring about genealogy. Yes, Thomas was dead but he was still a relative; Family Honor, Thicker Than Water, anyone? Not to mention that President Lincoln is still revered as one of the most beloved and honored men in history (although biographies with more nuanced views of him have come out in the years since then); being connected even peripherally with his assassination would make just about anyone a pariah to any American who was even vaguely patriotic. Then there's the fact that Thomas being revealed as an assassin would discredit the whole family's reputation as treasure-hunters and scholars, undoing the good name given them after they found the Templar treasure. The public would view the family as bad because of what their ancestor did; historians would dismiss them because finding out Thomas was an assassin instead of the great man he was reputed to be would render suspect anything he'd said or done.
  • In #2, Ben kidnaps the president and convinces him to reveal the existence of a super-secret book, from which he needs a specific piece of super-secret info. The president quickly decides to give Ben the exact location of the book and the means of getting his hands on it. Hold up a sec. Even if the president is convinced that Ben deserves to know this one piece of super-secret information, why would he give Ben the entire friggin' book?? Presumably there's plenty of other stuff in there that even Ben isn't supposed to know. So how about the president gets the book himself, finds the appropriate page, and sends Ben a photocopy? And while he's at it, he ought to have Ben arrested and interrogated and investigated for awhile, just to make sure his story is legit. But no, apparently he decides to give up the info right now, and he gives up even more info than is necessary.
    • Um, 'cause doing that would reveal to the entire world that such a book exists? Think about it, if the Pres told the Secret Service "Hey, leave Ben alone, he's doing the right thing," they'd want to know why, and the secret book wouldn't be a secret. And guys like Ian would rob the Library of Congress in National Treasure 3.
      • No, because the president would just use the same story about how Ben didn't kidnap him, and the door closed on its own. Which he should've just done in the first place, as that chase was completely stupid.
      • For that matter, why did the Secret Service assume Ben had kidnapped the President in the first place? After all, which sounds more plausible (a) the tunnel collapsed, (b) Ben planned to ask the President for information he can't even reveal to his own family members and then escape through a secret passageway.
      • The Secret Service is paranoid. In this case, they'd not only have to believe that (a) is true, but that the president slipped away from his own bodyguards to go wandering off with this famous but somewhat unstable celebrity treasure hunter. Without telling them. Despite the fact that he really could just say something like "you're not cleared for this conversation, search the room to make sure no assassins are lurking inside and then guard the entrance while we talk about it." What are the odds? So in this case they made the correct conclusion; from a legal standpoint Ben did in fact kidnap the president and could totally have killed him if he'd felt like it.
      • As for the original question (why would the president trust Ben with everything in the book), no answer. It would definitely have made more sense for him to say "OK, I'll give you this one thing, don't call me, I'll call you." Unless, of course, the president actually thought Ben was a dangerous lunatic (who just happened to be a well informed lunatic) and decided it was safer to play along than risk being killed. Which would also explain why he didn't do anything to stop law enforcement from chasing the guy at first...
      • This troper can only hope that at some point Riley went back and found out where the President was keeping the crashed spaceship from Roswell. National Treasure III, anyone?
    • What you are forgetting is the speech Gates gave to the president about him being the president, a man who believes in honor and loyalty and upholding justice. When Gates told the President his story, the President had no proof that Gates was telling the truth and not just a crazy conspiracy nut, but after Gates appealed to his integrity he then decided to turn the same test back on Gates. If he sends Gates to the Book of Secrets, he follows the clue in it, but he can't find the city, then this proves he's just a crazy nut. Similarly, if he goes to the book and takes from it more than just the clue to Cibola, this proves all his talk of integrity meant nothing, that it was only a smokescreen to get the President to cough up the book. Either way, this is the reason for allowing the FBI to keep chasing him, and waiting until the city is found or not before calling them off: Gates had to be given the chance to prove his story true, and to prove he himself had the integrity to not steal anything else from the book. If there was no city, then Gates committed the crime of infiltrating the party and kidnapping the President for no good reason; if he didn't limit himself to just the info on Cibola (and page 47), then he proved he didn't have the integrity to deserve either the book or the city. And if Gates failed the test, either by not finding the city or by taking more from the book than he should, the FBI would have arrested him, at which point it wouldn't have mattered what else he took from the book—it would not get out and the secrets would still be safe.
      • (claps) Thank you, very well said!
  • Notice that Ben has one foolproof strategy for convincing his friends to do crazy stuff like kidnapping the president? All he has to say is something like "Guys, guys....History. (dramatic pause). History is really important." and they'll agree to anything.
    • Checking online transcripts and subtitle downloads the closest thing I've found to this is the following sentence, "This is one of the most important documents in history." The use of the word "history" or "important" is actually vanishingly small when you search the movies for them. Mostly used in the beginning or the end to setup and payoff importance of what we are looking for in the treasure and what is actually found in the treasure. For example, "This is gonna unlock the Olmec language. It's gonna give us incredible insight into pre-Columbian history." Need concrete examples of this IJBM. Although it is pretty funny!
  • First movie: Ben explicitly states that he has digital scans of the Silence Dogood letters, but he leaves them at his apartment when they go to steal the Declaration. Since he can't go back to his apartment (because the FBI has already gotten there) he goes to his father's house because he thinks he still has the originals. Since he goes to his father's house, and steals his father's car, and they use a kid to help them get the secret message from the letters at the Ben Franklin museum, Ian and the FBI catch up with him in Philadelphia and tail them through the rest of the movie. If Ben had brought the scans with him when they first went to steal the Declaration then they would effectively have been able to translate the secret key, go to Philadelphia, and get to the treasure before Ian or the FBI could catch up.
    • Well, he didn't expect that he wouldn't be able to go back to his apartment. Some better questions: Why was Abigail so surprised they had copies of the letters? The Silence Dogood letters are famous, so shouldn't there be numerous copies floating around? Is this some alternate universe in which photocopy machines are rare? And why do they even need scans? Just type "silence dogood letters" into Google and the first result has the full text of each one.
      • They needed scans of the originals because the code was keyed to the position of words and letters on the page, which would almost certainly be lost in any transcription. Now, how Gates could be so certain that the code was keyed to the handwritten original drafts and not the letters as they appeared in The New-England Courant, I'm less clear on.
      • Wait, why wouldn't Ben expect not to be able to go back to his apartment? I mean, come on, he's planning to steal the Declaration of Independence from a nominally secure facility; there's a pretty good chance that someone's going to figure out who he is after he pulls it off. He still should have had the scans of the letters on hand in case he couldn't go back to his apartment safely. Ben Gates: master planner, not so good at backup plans.
      • Ben wasn't counting on getting stopped by a store clerk, thinking he was trying to steal a merchandized version of the DOI. Ben didn't have enough money to pay for the "fake DOI", and used a credit card, just to get out of dodge as quickly as possible. The credit card is how the police tracked his ID down so quickly. Before that he was only known as "Paul Brown" by Abigail. That may have hindered the chase a little, had Ben gotten out of the building sooner.
    • Aside from the good points made above that Ben had no reason to think he wouldn't be going back to the apartment and the reason they got caught was something he couldn't have foreseen, if he had brought the letters with him and they had been caught, they would have been confiscated so he'd need to go see the originals anyway. And if the Feds found him with not just the Declaration but copies of the Silence Dogood letters, they'd be even more likely to lock him up as a crazy conspiracy theorist/historical document thief.
  • Apparently, the hoard in NT1 was hidden by the Founding Fathers (or some of them, at least) to prevent the British getting their hands on it during the War of Independence. Wouldn't a better use be to sell it and hire a damn army of mercenaries (or at least, better equip the army they had)?
    • Remember, New York City was under British military occupation for the majority of the Revolutionary War. Their choices were either to hide the pile of money or lose it, they durn sure couldn't move it out of town.
      • How did they manage to hide it so fast and so deeply, though?
      • It was not the Founding Fathers, it was the Freemasons (of which some were Founding Fathers and some not, a division in the ranks per se) and they had their own opinions and views about how it should be spent and whether fledgling America was ready for it or not, etc.
      • Opinions and views which almost certainly did not include "ramp up the bloodshed and violence by adding a ton of foreign soldiers-for-hire that might decide to stick around in America after the war's over".
  • Did it surprise anybody else how fast everybody jumped on the "Gate Hate" bandwagon? I've been under the impression that respected professional historians get that way by not leaping to far-fetched conclusions based on flimsy evidence. The Lincoln Assassination is one of the most famous, heavily-researched events in American history. Historians know, almost down to the second, what happened. The only evidence linking Gates to Booth is that his name was written in the diary. All that proves is that Booth knew who Gates was, not that he was a member of the conspiracy. Hell, he could have been a target for all they knew!
    • Yes, it's poor evidence, but the fact remains that Ben and his father's reacted as though it were a deliberate affront to their family and their reason for clearing it up was "our family is so wonderful" and not "this is just dumb".
    • Wasn't the name was part of a list with other conspirators, with something like "master mind" written after it?
      • But if so, why wasn't this common knowledge beforehand? Again, the assassination of Lincoln is a very heavily researched historical event.
      • It wasn't common knowledge beforehand because the villain's family hadn't previously released the missing page on which the list was written. It was all fleshed out in the scene that kicked off the plot of the movie, but you may not have noticed what with all the talk about Boothe's diary page being found and implicating Gates' ancestor.
    • On a related note, why is everyone 100% certain which Thomas Gates the notation refers to? It's not as if if "gates" or "Thomas" are particularly rare as names. Granted, Ben's ancestor was known to be nearby when Lincoln was killed, but you'd think they'd take a couple of days to verify that there wasn't another man by that name in the theater audience, or associated with the previously-known conspirators.
  • Why, why, why is Riley treated so badly in the second movie? I may be a little biased here because he's my favorite character, but anyone who watches the movie can see this. His so called "friends" didn't read his book, and there are plenty of examples where they outright ignore him or don't seem to care about him. He's an obvious fan favorite, but the writers don't seem to like him. Whenever I see this movie, it's what bugs me the most.
    • Riley is a fan favorite partly because he was a bit of a Butt Monkey in the first movie, and he got flanderized into full-on Chew Toy status in the second movie.
    • True. Note that the bad guy asked him if he was okay twice, and his friends couldn't be bothered once.
      • I like Riley just as much as most people, but to be fair, one of those times was after Riley touched something, destroyed the only present route of escape, and almost got Ben and Abigail crushed by a giant boulder. Those two were probably more concerned with the "holy crap almost died" thing.
      • Agreed. Riley is this troper's favorite character as well, but I guess it's all part of his role as the Plucky Comic Relief.
  • How in the name of God does an historian who has found the fucking Library of fucking Alexandria not immediately be catapulted to the very highest levels of scientific reputation? Seriously. The goddamned Library of Alexandria. This Troper literally cannot overstate the significance of such a find. By what remote logic could Dr. Gates possibly still be considered a crackpot by anyone after successfully making an historical discovery on literally such a mindboggling scale that it would make the finding of the Rosetta Stone look like fishing last week's grocery store receipt out of a dumpster? In the real world of academia, if a man who had successfully dug up the lost contents of the Library of Alexandria then announced that he was soliciting volunteers for an expedition in search of the Land of Oz, with a stopover planned in Shangri-La, fifty universities and three major world governments would be lining up outside his door begging for a chance to fund it.
    • The internet says that there were "some of the scrolls from the Library of Alexandria", not that "the Library of Alexandria was stashed in the masonic treasure bin". It's an incredibly important find, but in light of the information from the rest of the artifacts, it pales in comparison. If you recall, we already had a bunch of written stuff before we found the Rosetta Stone, we just didn't know what it meant. With this, the scrolls would just be a few more scrolls of interest that we didn't know weren't destroyed, since we the audience are never told what the scrolls said.
      • Still a huge find. As for why Gates didn't get catapulted right to the top of academia... who's to say he wasn't? Trouble is, Gates is fundamentally a crackpot, even if he's a smart crackpot who's right most of the time. Maybe his next big obsession didn't pan out so well, and people started dismissing his find as luck. Maybe he just acts weird when people are talking to him, like a lot of crackpots (imagine if you're having a conversation and you say "you know, maybe you should take the day off" and he fixes you with this creepy stare and says "History is important.")
      • See the above IJBM about, "history is important" for more on this topic.
  • Could somebody explain the effects lemon juice would have on parchment? All I really know about parchment is that it's made from hide, treated with lye during the curing process, and acid is bad for either it or the ink. I would think lemon juice would be a Very Bad Thing to swab across the back of the Declaration of Independence, so... Isn't it? Someone would have to say what the effects would be of lemon juice on a piece of 200-year-old parchment. And the singeing around the corner that was starting when they were curing the message stuff? Why was almost nobody concerned about that?
    • Sake of plot. They felt it'd be a waste of time if someone were saying, "omg you're burning the Declaration!!!". Plus, a bigger question to ask is: How is the Declaration not a pile of confetti at the end? I mean, it's been rolled, unrolled, had lemon juice and heat applied to it, tossed around, shot at....
    • The question about the effects of lemon juice on (very old) parchment wasn't rhetorical, by the way.
  • How exactly are these "National Treasures" so well-hidden? Sure, people seemed to be searching for it in the original, but I think this (South Dakotan) Troper would have at least heard rumors of freaking El Dorado being hidden beneath Mount Rushmore. On that note, it also bugs him that they robbed South Dakota of its precious screentime in favor of other nations.
    • The last part is because the other nations were new stuff. The Ocean's Twelfth of the National Treasure sequel, you might say. South Dakota may rock, but the fact that they spend, what, a third of the movie at and underneath its most famous landmark means you really shouldn't have any basis for complaint.
      • Also, Mount Rushmore is pretty controversial with certain people. I personally am part (a very small part) Native American and can't look at Mount Rushmore without wanting to kill someone. The monument was carved by a KKK member into a hill that was given to the Lakota Sioux in perpetuity, after the Lakota explicitly told them not to carve it. It's like if someone found the cross Jesus was crucified on and carved it into a Chinese-style god marker. They carved people's faces on a sacred mountain that they not only didn't own, but had acknowledged that they didn't own. So they probably didn't want to put too much emphasis on the monument, to prevent people like me from ranting about it on the internet and distracting people from the movie. That said, it's an impressive monument, it would just be more impressive if it wasn't the world's largest slap in the face to the Lakota.
      • This part-Native American/Ameridian (seems to be our new name in the History community) can agree with the above, to an extent. Though, yeah, that was a giant F-You to the Lakota, hadn't the Lakota recently massacred a few hundred American troops around the time the carving of Mount Rushmore began? I mean, at the time, the people of the U.S. didn't give two shits about the well-being of the Native American people. Hell, at the time, the Trail of Tears was POPULAR...so Rushmore's more of an example of Values Dissonance while at the same time being a great tribute to America's four greatest presidents...one of whom, ironically, did more to push Native American rights than any president before him.

  • OK, so in 1865, Thomas Gates is asked to decode a cipher, right? Well, fast forward to 2007, we learn that the clues were pointing to the Statue of Liberty and the planks from HMS Resolute that were made into the desks in the White House and Buckingham Palace. What is the problem? NONE OF THAT EXISTED IN 1865!!! There was no Statue of Liberty, nor any plans of making one until circa 1885. The HMS Resolute wasn't commissioned until 1876 so both clues would have been absolute fantasy to anyone in 1865 as they hadn't happened yet. What does this mean? This means that the whole movie of Treasure #2 would be virtually impossible.
    • That's... a good point...
    • They hid the treasure by using Mount Rushmore as a cover, and that wasn't carved until the 1920's.
    • That only further confirms this IJBM entry.
    • Not quite. As I recall the plot, the planks with the Olmec writing which led to Cibola had been around for a long time (obviously) prior to being hidden in the Resolute desks, and the clue to the desks was not carved on the Statue of Liberty until much later. The Queen of England and the Southerners were in collusion to try and obtain the treasure so the South could win, but this was predicated on them killing Lincoln and getting the code deciphered—it was a sort of Secret Test of Character, if they solved the code they would be allowed through to Laboulaye who had been a Secret-Keeper for some time. But the code didn't get deciphered, and the assassination ended up with all the conspirators dead, or arrested and then executed. I got the impression that because of this failure the Queen (and Edouard de Laboulaye) withheld the information they needed to lead them to the planks, which had been hidden elsewhere earlier but never translated or decoded. So when the conspirators failed, the Queen and Laboulaye just kept the planks where they were until an opportunity to hide them better presented itself. I.e., when the Resolute desks were made the Queen got the bright idea of hiding the planks in them and sending one to the President of the U.S., then later Laboulaye got the bright idea of putting a clue leading to the desks on the Statue of Liberty when it was made. And later still, once it was figured out where the planks led, the President had Mount Rushmore built to hide it—prior to that Cibola was simply underground in the Black Hills and nobody knew it was there, but anyone could have found it by digging. Building the monument ensured no archaeologist would dare mess with the site.
      • But that doesn't answer the original question: How could the Playfair Cipher lead to the Statue of Liberty when the statue didn't exist yet - or had even been thought of?
      • Yes, it does. "So when the conspirators failed, the Queen and Laboulaye just kept the planks where they were until an opportunity to hide them better presented itself. I.e., when the Resolute desks were made the Queen got the bright idea of hiding the planks in them and sending one to the President of the U.S., then later Laboulaye got the bright idea of putting a clue leading to the desks on the Statue of Liberty when it was made." In other words, I am saying that the planks were originally hidden somewhere else and were not put in the desks until later—after they were made. And the clue wasn't put on the Statue of Liberty until it was made. Because the Playfair cipher only led to Laboulaye, it didn't mention the statue at all. At the time the Southerners were trying to decipher the code, it only directed them to Laboulaye who, for whatever reason, was in collusion with the Queen of England, and either he or she would have had the planks or known where they were. They weren't hidden in the desks until much later, so there was plenty of time for those desks (and the statue) to be built.
      • The Cipher translated to "Laboulaye Lady", ie; the Statue of Liberty.
      • Laboulaye loved America, and loved liberty, and he wanted to give a gift of a statue to America long before he ever actually spoke to Bartholdi and suggested he build the statue; knowledge of this could have been included in their planning when they wrote the cipher. And the cipher's message could have been changed to include the reference to a lady after it was built.

  • In the original, there were generations of the Gates family spending their lives finding 'Charlotte' and it took a great deal of time for Ben to (off-screen) realize that 'Charlotte' was a ship. ONE CLUE! In the next movie (and most likely the third) we now are led to believe that Ben is now some sort of magical treasure finding savant, and can now find countless hidden treasures within a week. WHAT? The first treasure was supposed to have been a life long ambition (*ahem* obsession), taking up the lives of both Ben's father and grandfather; now the group is apparently on call treasure hunters, like as if they frequently hunt for treasures all the time. This is like Ahab killing Moby Dick, and then in 'Moby Dick 2' deciding to kill whales as a full time thing...
    • Well, breaking out of the Charlotte = woman preconception rapidly accelerated his ability to decipher the clues in the first movie as well. It's like a Moon Logic Puzzle, once you solve one the later ones come easier because you know to challenge your initial notions.
    • He had to be drawing an income from somewhere in the first movie. Maybe he hunted for the Templar/Freemason Treasure on the side during his normal career of Magical Treasure-Finding Savant.
    • Okay I take issue with your simile. It's been a while since I read the book, but wasn't Captain Ahab the captain of a whaling ship? So didn't he ALREADY kill whales as a full time thing?
  • Okay, so I first watched this movie when I was 13. Now at 19, I've seen the movie quite a lot now (at least when it's on TV). I am still absolutely mesmerized by the so-called romantic subplot in the first movie. Okay, so they flirted like maybe once while they were hiding out and buying new clothes. Then all of a sudden, Ben's calling Abigail "honey" and they're boyfriend and girlfriend after they get separated? Er, what? Did that develop offscreen in a manner of minutes?
    • It would seem so. Though she did show fascination at his determination and strength of character throughout the film...also the "honey" remarks were probably in jest.
    • This is how almost every single movie which isn't a romantic comedy or drama by premise handles their "romance" subplots. It's very annoying, all the more so because they insist on tacking on said subplots in movies that could have done without them.
  • Can someone help me piece together the Gates' family tree? In the first movie, we find from Grandfather Gates that his grandfather's grandfather, John Gates was in charge of the Charlotte clue. Then in NT #2, we see John Gates, older with a boy. Is this the John Gates of NT #1 or a different one?
    • Same one. Young Thomas Gates got the Charlotte clue in 1832, and Thomas Gates the unwitting "conspirator" died in 1865. He would have been in his 40s.
    • Not necessarily, Gates is a common name, it's theoretically possible that Ben's grandfather could have had two parents who were both born with the last name 'Gates', with the first Thomas Gates having a grandson who had a daughter who married Charles. It would solve multiple "lineage" issues. How does a young man in 1832 have a middle-aged grandson in 1865? Second, it would explain why Thomas Gates of the 2nd movie is working on Cibola, and isn't focusing on the Freemason Treasure that consumed the family line brought up in the 1st movie.
  • Ian deduces that "Key in Silence undetected" refers to Silence Dogood because "Silence" was capitalized, and therefore a name. At the time of the pipe's creation, all nouns in English were capitalized, and not just names.
    • Silence is the only noun that's capitalized. It might have been common practice at the time, but the pipe was specifically written in such a way to draw attention to it.
  • Abigail's very annoying snap back in the second movie-she developed into a decent and good character. Then in the second movie she's an annoying-infuriating brat! And don't get me started on her kicking and locking Ben out....OF HIS OWN HOUSE!!! Seriously, they weren't married, so that's HIS PROPERTY!!! NOT HERS!!!
    • What I really don't get is why Ben wanted to get back together with her. The point where she was fucking the guy that destroyed his family's honour would be when I'd tell her to take a hike.
      • Wait, when did she sleep with Wilkinson?
      • Yeah, she only had dinner with him once, that I recall, when he was trying to get her help with the diary and the search for Cibola. The only guy she (maybe) was sleeping with was Connor, the White House staff member.
  • In NT 2, that door underneath the central pyramid cannot have been the only drainage tunnel in that room. I don't understand how all that water was supposed to have emptied out of the closed door that took two grown men to open. It was closed when they all piled down there, and only began to drain again once Ben and Wilkinson turned the lever in the centre of the room. So... how did it drain out of there before?
    • It didn't. As evidenced by how the room above looked before they turned the wheel to open the panel and drain out the water so they could descend to the city, the normal state of affairs was for the room with the city to be full of water, while the one above had a pool continually filled by the waterfall. Turning the wheel blocked the waterfall, so the water below could drain away by some other means. Once the mechanism broke, however, releasing the waterfall again, the water re-filled the room with the city—and because there was no longer a door to block the waterfall, the water just kept filling that room no matter how many other drainage tunnels there might be. The waterfall had a constant source, which was why it could fill the room even if there were other tunnels to drain it, especially with that door closed.
  • Going off the above, the drainage tunnel in NT 2. If the tunnel is so short that the characters can see daylight after the water goes down, one would imagine that someone {at some point} would have seen a very man-made tunnel, and followed it up to the door, and have called attention to it.
    • I'm guessing that that secret lever they pulled which brought down the rocks to uncover the entrance may also have uncovered the drainage tunnel, which before that would have been concealed—the tunnel only needed to be used for drainage when that door was opened, which it hadn't been for centuries. Presumably whatever other drainage tunnels there were extended a lot farther before opening to the surface, were concealed as natural egresses, or came out in places not easily accessible to people, like canyon cliffsides and such.
  • Why do the writers of this movie think that, because they're filming scenes in England, that they can spout off stereotypes like no-one's business? Surely, I can't be the only one annoyed at that?
    • Right, because England never stereotypes America in its movies.
    • I'm not sure which stereotypes you mean exactly, but if you're talking about the scene at Buckingham Palace, Ben was deliberately playing up British stereotypes in order to get in trouble, so they could break into the Queen's office from the holding cell down below. This may say bad things about Ben's beliefs about British people, but it isn't something the filmmaker or scriptwriter should be castigated for.
      • Ben is a guy who spent his entire life steeped in the Revolutionary War. Maybe he does have some subconscious prejudices about the English as a result.
  • Three things:
    • If there was such a massive treasure buried underneath Manhattan, wouldn't the Founding Fathers have used at least some of it (it's implied to be massive) to fund the Revolution?
      • It would raise suspicion if the Founding Fathers had suddenly produced enough cash to turn the war in one night. If you meant in small payments, well, America did win, didn't they?
      • As my history teacher would say, America didn't win; England gave up. And America had financial problems for decades after the War.
      • See the thoughts on the very first Headscratcher above re: why the treasure wasn't shared. Namely, the Freemasons believed the world wasn't ready for the treasure, thus they even hid it from their own countrymen. The idea was likely that if the revolution couldn't be won without the treasure, then it wasn't worth winning because the colonists had proven they weren't good enough/their cause wasn't strong enough to win on their own. Or to put it another way, they wanted to prove they were good enough/clever enough/righteous enough to win against the British without needing a treasure to depend on. It might not seem very intelligent a move, but hindsight is 20/20 and as we know people can be very fanatical about what they believe in. Also, to judge from what happened about forty years later, they may have been right about the proto-Americans' readiness/worthiness...
    • If there was a ridiculously deep pit underneath Manhattan ISLAND, they probably would have run into the water table, right?
      • They were Freemasons. They would understand about the water table and how it factors into digging and building as part of their original craft's skills, and thus could have built the underground chambers/passages in such a way to direct the water off to other channels. Also, the presence of the water in the surrounding soil could be another reason why all the stairs and such were so rotten.
    • If the creaking stair system under Trinity Church was collapsed (partially) by a subway passing overhead, why hadn't it collapsed before? And why did all of the fire-trough-things still work, after what, two hundred years?
      • Straw that broke the camel's back, I guess.
      • Why wouldn't the troughs work? All they were, presumably, was basins filled with some sort of flammable liquid; after two hundred years the liquid would still be flammable.
      • But covered in a layer of dust.
      • I wasn't aware dust made flammable things non-flammable. Also, them entering the room would presumably stir up a lot of the dust, leaving at least some of the liquid uncovered. Then once it was ignited, the flames would spread to the rest.
  • How, exactly, were the sliding drawers on that desk of Queen Victoria's supposed to be hard to solve? The tumblers were quite audible, so they could've just pulled each drawer out a bit at a time until they hit the right date.
    • Perhaps that was exactly what the one US President who solved the mystery of his desk, did. Besides, including the current Queen, there have only been five British monarchs after Victoria. Perhaps none of them happened to be curious enough to examine the desk.
      • The tumblers being that loud were probably for our benefit.
  • How are they even in Buckingham Palace? It is only open to the public in August and September when the Queen goes to Scotland. Considering they went to go into the White House on the day of the Easter Egg roll soon after this trip, it most definitely wasn't during that time period.

  • Does not bother any of you that in NT #1 there were TWO entries in the treasure room, and the second one were WAY MORE CLOSER to the treasure and lacked the Death Traps to stall them. I know that Rule of Drama/Cool has to be applied, but I got really annoyed with that.
    • There may not have been a way to open the second entrance from the other side.
Mystery MenHeadscratchers/FilmNight at the Museum

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
81404
1