In National Treasure, Nicolas Cage delivers a kind of Indiana Jones turn as third generation treasure hunter, Benjamin Franklin Gates.
From the time his grandfather, John Adam Gates (Christopher Plummer) first told him about it, Benjamin has been obsessed with finding a treasure believed to be the greatest the world has ever known - one that has been amassed over centuries and moved across continents.
This vast fortune has supposedly been hidden by the founding fathers of America (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson et al) who have laid out clues for its location - clues that can be found within such unlikely things as the symbol on a dollar bill. Most people do not believe in the existence of this treasure, even Benjamins father, Patrick Henry Gates (Jon Voight) is sceptical, but after many years, Benjamin believes that the final clue is a map located on the back of nothing less than the historic Declaration of Independence!
He realises that to keep the secret of the treasure from falling into the wrong hands - namely a double-crossing partner called Ian Howe (Sean Bean) - Benjamin and his associate, Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) must steal the countrys most celebrated document.
With the help of museum curator, Dr Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger), and pursued by the FBI led by an investigator named Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) as well as Howe and his henchmen, Benjamin and Riley become caught up in a desperate race against time to decipher the clues and unlock the 2,000-year-old mystery.