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National Treasure: Book of Secrets

A movie directed by Jon Turteltaub

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Still Fun, But Not as Exciting

  • Mar 8, 2008
Rating:
+1
While delivering a presentation about his great-grandfather, Thomas Gates (Joel Gretsch) and his relationship to John Wilkes Booth and attempt to stop the assassination of President Lincoln, Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) is challenged by a man, Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris), who claims to have a missing page from John Wilkes Booth's diary that suggests that Thomas Gates was actually one of the ring-leaders of Lincoln's assassination. In an attempt to prove his great-grandfather's innocence, Ben, Abigail (Diane Kruger), and Riley (Justin Bartha) begain a globetrotting adventure that takes them from Buckingham Palace to the Oval Office in the White House. Their journey ultimately leads Ben to "kidnapping" the President of the United States (Bruce Greenwood) and a perilous journey inside Mount Rushmore.

NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS is a fairly average action-adventure movie. Like the original movie, BOOK OF SECRETS boasts a decent mixture of actual history with tons of conspiracy theories to bolster an otherwise lackluster plot. However, there really isn't as much action as there was in the first movie. Things have been watered down, including the "villain", Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris). Harris' talents (as well as those of Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, and Helen Mirren) are completely wasted in the movie, but so is his character. Wilkinson is intended to be an evil foil to Benjamin Gates, but instead by the end of the movie comes off as being a completely sympathetic person that was just trying to clear his family's name just like Ben is doing.

The strongest thing about the movie is the characters. It is true that Benjamin Gates and Riley Poole and the rest of the cast are basically cardboard figures. However, they are cardboard characters that the audience actually cares about, even without ever having seen NATIONAL TREASURE. Abigail is beautiful and throughout the movie the audience roots that the adventure will bring her and Ben back together; Riley Poole is adorable and the audience keeps hoping he will end up with a fraction of the success that Ben has; etc.

Overall, though NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS isn't a great action-adventure movie and at times struggles to build excitement, it is a decent yarn involving some lovable characters.

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More National Treasure: Book of Sec... reviews
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
Excellent movie - just not quite able to top the first one.
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
Great! Intreaguing!
review by . November 15, 2008
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Civil War dirty secrets are brought to light and set alight   2. Ben Gates' great-great grandfather gets bad name, but isn't completely clueless   3. Ben Gates (Cage) follows cryptic clues to clear the family name.   4. Clues actually lead to mighty big treasure, but that isn't the real prize, apparently.   5. Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris) goes to a lot of trouble to get Gates to show him the money …
review by . July 15, 2008
If one can associate an actor to a particular genre of movies, it would be Nicholas Cage to family-friendly action - adventure movies. But sequels has been something he has smartly stayed away from, until now. With this 2nd installment of Disney's National Treasure franchise, Mr. Cage looks like he has sold himself out. The Book of Secrets starts out good but steadily becomes less believable and less original as it progresses. For example, the scene inside the mountain where he and his fellow explorers …
review by . June 06, 2008
Entertaining and campy with several "yeah right!" moments. Fans of National Treasure should appreciate the same characters as they banter, argue, fight and solve clues.    National Treasure Two takes us to Europe and below ground. Nearly clean fun lacks family unfriendly language and sexual content.    The intensity of the themes -- treasure hunts/hunters, shootings, car chases and skeletons in various degrees of decay might make it a little too much for very …
review by . May 26, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
(2.5 *'s) `National Treasure 2' is benign, yet slight, family entertainment. Continuing the treasure hunt (again with a decidedly patriotic thrust) Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) leads his globe trotting entourage to Paris, London`s Buckingham Palace, and even inside the most intimate desk drawers of the Oval Office. This time clues are sprinkled around the Western Hemisphere in Native American language, sending Ben and his sidekicks, Abigail (Diane Kruger) and Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), to retrieve …
review by . January 20, 2008
Despite the fact that this 2007 sequel to the popular "National Treasure" boasts a fine cast of actors (Nicholas Cage, Jon Voight, personal favorite Ed Harris and the incomparable Helen Mirren,) "Book of Secrets" catapults into a fast but formulaic action with a little less than the high voltage adrenaline the initial film offered, repositioning famed treasure-hunter/historian Ben Franklin Gates (Cage) to face yet another widely publicized dis --- this time linking his equally cipher-solving obscure …
review by . January 02, 2008
If you can get past the silly title, NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS is a diverting couple of hours at the movie. This cross between RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC (lite) with THE DAVINCI CODE (lite) will not stick in your memory for more than a few minutes after you leave the theatre...but you'll at least remember having a more or less fun time.    Nicholas Cage (with his bad hair-dye) is at least having more fun than he did in NEXT, WICKER MAN and GHOST RIDER. In those films, he …
review by . December 30, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Much like the film that preceded it, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" is both completely preposterous and a lot of fun at the same time. No, I never once believed what was going on; this movie is not about believability, but about pure entertainment, much like the "Indiana Jones" films or "The Da Vinci Code." And in the tradition of "The Da Vinci Code," this film is founded on the premise that hidden clues will lead to the truth. In this case, the quest for the truth is directly related to Ben …
review by . December 25, 2007
Pros: Great action scenes and decent plot line     Cons: minimal suspense if you have seen a lot of the previews     The Bottom Line: Predictable, but still worth seeing with its fun action scenes. Plus it is not as predictable to others who do not know as much history as me.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I think this was a very well done sequel, although the first one is still better. My …
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National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Theatrical release poster Directed by Jon Turteltaub Produced by Jon Turteltaub
Jerry Bruckheimer Written by Screenplay
Marianne Wibberley
Cormac Wibberley

Story
Gregory Poirier
Marianne Wibberley
Cormac Wibberley
Terry Rossio
Ted Elliott Starring Nicolas Cage
Justin Bartha
Diane Kruger
Jon Voight
Helen Mirren
Ed Harris Music by Trevor Rabin Cinematography John Schwartzman
Amir Mokri Editing by William Goldenberg
David Rennie Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures Release date(s) December 21, 2007 Running time 125 min. Country United States Language English
French Budget $130,000,000[1] Gross revenue $457,364,600[2] Preceded by National Treasure

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (titled National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets on the DVD/Blu-ray release) is a 2007 adventure film and is the sequel to the 2004 film National Treasure. It was directed by Jon Turteltaub and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

It was stated in the first film's commentary that there were no plans for a sequel, but due to the first film's impressive box-office performance, earning $347.5 million worldwide, a sequel was given the go-ahead in 2005. It took just 38 days of release for the sequel to out-gross the original.

The film premiered in New York City on December 13, 2007 and was released in the Middle East, Korea, and Taiwan on December 19, ...

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