National Treasure: Book of Secrets is a movie that made my dad say, “I might have never seen a movie that dumb before.” Since my dad is smart, and you probably are too, this might tell you everything you need to know about this movie.
In case you need to know more, let me also say that National Treasure: Book of Secrets is about a “BOOK OF SECRETS” (seriously) passed from every U.S. President to the next, and contains information like who killed John F. Kennedy, whether the moon landing was real, etc. This sounds pretty interesting until you remember that it’s not real and if anyone is really interested in keeping a secret, they don’t put it in a damn book.
However, Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) is interested in finding this BOOK OF SECRETS OMG so he can prove that his great-great-grandfather wasn’t the mastermind behind Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. No, Ben isn’t interested in finding the BOOK OF SECRETS OMG so he can publish its contents and let the American people know the truth about lots of important stuff. He just wants to make sure that his family doesn’t look bad. You know, in the eyes of history majors everywhere.
To accomplish this, Gates emarks on a series of ridiculous adventures, along with his ex-girlfriend, Abigail (Diane Kruger), and their idiot friend Riley (Justin Bartha), who tags along to be even more annoying than everyone else in this movie so they seem less annoying in comparison. As this globetrotting gang follows preposterous clues to preposterous conclusions, they engage in plenty of sitcom-ish bickering that serves to convince Ben and Abigail that they should get back together. Oh no, I gave away the ending. Maybe it would have been safer in the BOOK OF SECRETS OMG.
Jon Voight and Helen Mirren, as Gates’s squabbling parents, are around to participate in the treasure hunt as well, and they’re much more engaging than Cage and Kruger. I actually wanted them to end up together in the end. Of course, it’s not a great sign that I’ve already forgotten whether they live or die or renew their vows at the end of the movie. In fact, I can’t remember a lot about this movie, because it’s about 45 minutes too long and generally inspires thoughts of grocery lists and emails to return as much as it does treasure hunting. Oh, and Ed Harris is in this movie? I guess?
So, you’ve probably gathered how I feel about this movie. On the other hand, it is kind of a guilty pleasure, and I walked out with a smile on my face, which DEFINITELY didn’t happen with the first National Treasure. I’ll admit that this movie knows exactly what kind of movie it is. It’s the kind of movie where Nicolas Cage says, “I’m going to kidnap the President of the United States,” and if you think that sounds exciting, go see National Treasure: Book of Secrets (OMG). On the other hand, if you’re like me and think, “Wow, kidnapping the President sounds like terrorism, I hope someone puts this horrible man in jail,” do yourself a favor and wait for the new Indiana Jones movie to see some real adventure.
The bonus features accompanying National Treasure: Book of Secrets are almost identical to those for the first movie. There’s audio commentary with Jon Turteltaub and Jon Voight, deleted scenes and bloopers, and a making-of featurette called “Secrets of a Sequel”. “The Book of Secrets on Location” takes a look at the locations used in the film, and “Street Stunts” shows us how the chase scene was filmed in London. Behind the scenes featurettes look into the crafting of the President’s book and the creation of the Lost City of Gold. For those more interested in the historical aspects of the movie, we’re also given background on Knights of the Golden Circle as well as a rockin’ tour of The Library Of Congress. When these kids make a movie, they leave no stone unturned.