Thursday, September 22, 2011

3, 2, 1... Action.

Many films involve some sort of cryptography in their plot, some more complex than others.  The movie "Numbers" literally involves the solving of ciphers to prevent a tragedy, while other films subtly bring out decryption.  One film in particular that showcases many forms of encryption and code-cracking is called "National Treasure" starring Nicholas Cage.  The plot revolves around finding a lost treasure that has been sought after for decades.  The sole clue that leads to the secret hiding place was given to one of Cage's ancestors, and his family has been ridiculed for being 'treasure hunters' for many years, but that doesn't stop Cage and his team from pursuing the treasure.

The cryptography in this movie leads Cage's team all over the country, and even the world.  The first clue that has been passed down through his family leads him to a ship Charlotte located in the Arctic.  From there, Cage finds a pipe engraved with a riddle that he connects to the Declaration of Independence.  In an action-packed scene, Cage and his team steal the document and bring it back to their house to analyze it.  On the back, they find an Ottendorf cipher that they solve and relate to the Silence Dogood Letters that were written by Benjamin Franklin.  They have to count certain letters on each page to reveal another message that leads them to Independence Hall.  There, they uncover a pair of spectacles created by Franklin himself that allow you to view a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence.  It leads them to an old church, where they follow secret tunnels and uncover the lost treasure.

Overall, this movie is a nail-biter and keeps you at the edge of your seat.  It is full of action and suspense and involves critical thinking and cryptography.  I recommend it to anyone looking for a good, mind-bending movie!

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