May 31, 2008
Review - " National Treasure: Book of Secrets "
(on DVD) - By Roland Hansen
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National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Directed by Jon Turtletaub
Written by Marianne Wibberley and Cormac Wibberley
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren,
As in the first National Treasure, Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) finds himself
embroiled in a conspiracy that involves our founding fathers concealing more
treasured secrets. Joining him on his quest is his technology guru associate,
Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) and his father, Patrick (Jon Voight). Unwittingly, his
ex-wife Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) and his mother Emily Appleton (Helen
Mirren) find themselves involved with the chase too. Playing his nemesis is Ed
Harris as Mitch Wilkinson, a man willing to do anything to get his hands on the
“National Treasure” was a fun film, and this sequel definitely lives up to its
predecessor. Not often does Hollywood churn out a sequel that at least
matches the original’s flavor, but with “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,”
they got things to work. Part of the reason for this was that they brought the
whole gang back on this one. Not only do we have the Disney execs and uber-
producer Jerry Bruckheimer, but we also have the full cast reprising their roles
and director John Turteltaub at the helm.
This time around, Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) is trying to prove the innocence of his great grandfather in the
assassination of Abraham Lincoln. In order to do this, he must track down clues found in a treasure map on a missing page
of John Wilkes Booth’s diary. This goal sends him to France, to England and eventually on a trip to kidnap the President of
the United States. The answers to the mystery are found in a rumored “book of secrets” known only to the President.
Jerry Bruckheimer gives this film his Midas touch for action without pandering to the fans of sex and violence.
Like every spy thriller ever made “National Treasure 2” requires us to suspend all belief and common sense for the movie
to work. Duping the F.B.I., the secret service and palace guards is one hell of a feat. Equally impressive is Gates’ innate
ability to solve complex ciphers within minutes of being exposed to them and Poole’s technological mastery of everything
with a battery. Why aren’t these guys working for the government!
“National Treasure: Book of Secrets” is a fun ride. It has all the action and twists you need to keep the grown-ups
interested, and it fills things out with some strong action and adventure that will keep the kids happy as well. This film is
utterly unbelievable, sometimes silly and totally predictable, but it’s loads of fun and an adventure ride for the whole family.
All in all “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” is an entertaining way to fill two hours of your time. Plus, it’s also a great way
to fuel more government conspiracy theories, since I believe we don’t nearly have enough of them.