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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.11%
Worth A Look: 12.7%
Just Average42.86%
Pretty Crappy: 19.05%
Sucks: 14.29%

6 reviews, 27 user ratings

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National Treasure: Book of Secrets
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by Peter Sobczynski

"The Sad Thing Is, This May Be Cage's 2007 High-Water Career Mark"
2 stars

“National Treasure: Book Of Secrets” features Nicolas Cage on a globe-trotting quest to clear his family’s name to prevent it from being sullied by alleged misdeeds of the past. This is ironic when you consider all the sullying that he has done to his own good name over the last few years by consistently choosing to squander his considerable acting gifts on one high-paycheck/low-intelligence cinematic gumdrop after another and this sequel to the surprise 2004 smash hit, a bizarre combination of sub-“Indiana Jones” thrills, sub-“The Da Vinci Code” puzzles and a narrative so laden with goofball conspiracy theories that it seemed to have been adapted from a Lyndon LaRouche pamphlet, does nothing to reverse that streak.

This time around, Cage, once again portraying historian/treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates, is stunned when a rival historian (Ed Harris) appears with missing pages from the diary of John Wilkes Booth that suggest that Gates’ great-grandfather was the ringleader of the plot to kill President Lincoln. In order to clear the family name, Gates, along with his annoying father (Jon Voight), annoying sidekick (Justin Bartha) and annoying now-ex-girlfriend (Diane Kruger), must travel the globe (okay, he spends about 15 minutes in London and Paris and the rest of the time in the good ol’ USA), break into Buckingham Palace and the White House, briefly kidnap the President (Bruce Greenwood), unlock the meanings behind any number of ancient secrets and puzzles (for example, it turns out that the desks belonging to the President and the Queen of England were apparently designed by Cenobites) and uncover a fabled lost city of gold hidden beneath Mt Rushmore.

As you can guess, the screenplay by The Wibberleys (presumably billed in this way so that you know that you aren’t dealing with any ordinary Wibberley other than the geniuses who wrote “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and the Tim Allen remake of “The Shaggy Dog”) isn’t really concerned with telling a coherent, let alone plausible, story as much as it is in moving from one jumbo-sized and indifferently-staged action set-piece after another. There is plenty of noise but no real sense of excitement or visual splendor to be had (this has to be one of the drabest-looking adventure films in recent memory), the attempts to recreate the comedic by-play and romantic banter from the first film are incredibly forced and the central villain is so weakly designed and executed that he make the bad guy from the first one look like Auric Goldfinger by comparison. Even the various mysteries and riddles, presumably one of the key reasons behind the success of the first film, are a disappointment this time around–it only takes our hero seconds to decode these seemingly impossible questions using leaps of logic that Sherlock Holmes himself might have considered to be a little far-fetched.

Actually, there is one puzzle here that does remain unsolved by the time that the end credits roll and that involves the presence of Helen Mirren in the role of Cage’s historian mother–I can understand why she would choose to do a film like this as her first screen appearance since winning the Oscar for “The Queen” (Hint: the word starts with “m,” ends with “y” and contains “one” in the middle) but what I can’t understand is why she would cash in on her new-found fame with a role as superfluous as this one. Then again, you can’t really blame Mirren for cashing in and coasting along since everyone else involved with seems to be going through the motions as well. “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” is nothing more than a bigger, louder and dumber retread of the first film with nary a trace of wit, excitement or energy on display during its two-hour running time and the fact that audiences appear to once again be inexplicably responding to its seemingly non-existent charms would seem to be the biggest mystery of all.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=16803&reviewer=389
originally posted: 12/27/07 22:13:20
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User Comments

3/30/11 TG Not as strong as the first movie, but still full of family-friendly smiles and laughs. 5 stars
4/25/10 R.W. Welch Overplotted and stretched out but mildly diverting. 3 stars
12/21/09 Evry1lovsgrndma Absolutely great movies, both of them - it's wonderful to watch movies you can really enjoy 5 stars
11/14/09 Reality of Films Great film! Very funny! I liked it even better than the first! 5 stars
2/01/09 rahul best movie, awesome 5 stars
10/07/08 Shaun Wallner Great Action!! 5 stars
9/03/08 hoop yeah it's rather bland and utterly average 3 stars
7/10/08 L. Slusarczyk Entertaining, but seems like they're trying to hard to mimic the first movie. 3 stars
7/02/08 Matt Overlong and utterly silly rehash of the first. Time for a law against sequels? 3 stars
6/14/08 Melissa Great movie.I liked it even more than the first one. 5 stars
6/07/08 John Patricio Cage never lets the viewrs down. 4 stars
6/06/08 Priscilla Postlethwaite Grandiose blockbuster yarn with credibility about as substantial as the gold is real. 4 stars
6/05/08 Ming K I love this kind of film...great actions and interesting story 4 stars
6/04/08 Jayson Surprisingly better than the first. 3 stars
6/03/08 Dana amazing movie better then the first one 5 stars
6/01/08 George Barksdale Loved it, another Nicolas Cage hit. 4 stars
5/10/08 nietzsche i'd rather have a root canal than watch taht again 1 stars
5/06/08 Sarbu Rada I really enjoyed this movie. Yeah, it's not as good as the 1st, but I think it's worth it 4 stars
4/11/08 Katie I thought it has the same factors that made the original good. 4 stars
2/10/08 John Geddie This franchise is losing its edge. 3 stars
1/12/08 Sherree A relatively entertaining film, worth the 10 dollar ticket 4 stars
1/03/08 Ole Man Bourbon It is what it is. 3 stars
1/02/08 you are gay? do u not have a life? jsut accept the ppor quality and move on...dont go on a huge rant 1 stars
12/29/07 Vince Summers Too many time-related errors. Tired of car chases and man/woman conflicts. 3 stars
12/27/07 Lord Jiggy Frantic, less fun character stuff...but not too bad. Matinee-price only 3 stars
12/27/07 Jan It's an action adventure not meant to be factual 4 stars
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  DVD: 20-May-2008



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