|National Treasure 2: Book Of Secrets Blu-ray|
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Average review score based on 238 user reviews
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The Book of Secrets was a good follow-up movie to the first movie, but left me a little disappointed in places. Actually, for the theatrical release, the film was called "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," but for the DVD release, the title was changed to "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets."
With a film this big, you first have to be able to sell the audience on the idea and then work to make it believable. This just did not happen for me. Nicholas Cage is always perfect for this role and he always seems to fit the part, but the others in this movie were very outside of the movie. There was a bit problems early on when the Director of photography Amir M. Mokri was replaced by John Schwartzman several months into shooting. This was reportedly due to "creative differences" between Mokri and director Jon Turteltaub.
The hardest thing for me to buy as a film viewer was why The President was so eager the go along with Ben Gates (Cage) about exploring the secret passageway. Well, firstly The President mentions that he was an Architecture History major at Yale, so secret passageways (especially under such a historical site as Mount Vernon) would be of extraordinary interest to him. In the first film, the gold was given to the people of the world by Gates. It wasn't as if Gates was a regular person out of the blue. So he was a bit famous, which helped the president trust him. We must suspend our disbelief, however, to imagine that he would join Gates without a Secret Service agent. Coupled with this is the fact that Gates was famous for doing just what they did; exploring old buildings and such. In light of this, he would probably be the closest thing to an expert that there was and, therefore, the President would probably feel safe with him. Actually, Bruce Greenwood, who played the President, previously played President John F Kennedy in the movie Thirteen Days (2000).
Funny things exist, but the coincidence of overlapping commonalities between this film and The Rock (1996) are stunning:
#1. The man who has his Range Rover stolen by Mitch Wilkinson is costumer Hans Georg Struhar. His cameo is also an in-joke: his Humvee was stolen in The Rock (1996) as well, a film also produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and also starring Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris.
2. In The Rock (1996), Nicholas Cage's character is given information that leads him to a hidden roll of microfilm containing government secrets, including information about the Kennedy assassination (just as the "Book of Secrets" contains). Ed Harris plays the villain in both films.
3. This is the second movie in which Cage sees proof of some of America's greatest conspiracy theories, such as Area 51 and the John F. Kennedy assassination. The other was The Rock (1996). Coincidently, the main antagonist in both films is played by Ed Harris.
Also, Nicholas Cage has won an Academy Award for "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) and the actor and actress who played his parents (Jon Voight and Helen Mirren) are also Academy Award winners for "Coming Home" (1978) and "The Queen" (2006), respectively.
Some parts, including the ending, were very slow and cumbersome to watch.
The Father and Mother bickering interaction thing was very distracting to the plot and made it quite unpleasant to see them together at the end of film.
The supposed Kidnapping of the Pres. was a little too far-fetched for even me.
I'll give this a 3/5 rating.
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Ben Gates is just not doing well at all:
His girlfriend broke up with him
He's living with his father
Ben Gates' Great Grandfather, Thomas Gates, is just about to be nationally recognized as a hero when Mitch Wilkinson steps out and announces he has evidence that Thomas Gates was part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
In order to clear his ancestor's name, Ben, his sidekick Riley, and Ben's father start to investigate an order of Southern militants. What they discover was that Queen Victoria supported the Southerner's cause and she was attempting to help them find a treasure to finance the war.
Naturally, there's a treasure involved--the famed City of Gold. In order to find this treasure, they must race against Mitch Wilkinson and kidnap the US President to get to the Presidential Book of Secrets, containing information about everything from the City of Gold to Area 51 and the Kennedy Assassination.
Along the way, Ben's ex-girlfriend, Abigail, and Mom, Dr. Em Appleton, are added to the treasure hunting crew.
In my opinion, "Book of Secrets" has exceeded the "National Treasure." The story's better, the ensemble cast is strongly refined, and both the jokes and action just keep coming. Everyone in the cast save for Ed Harris impressed me. I honestly wasn't sure whether Mitch Wilkinson was a mercenary or a misguided man trying to claim some fame for his own family.
And yes--there appears to be a good chance we will see more of Ben Gates' adventuring. This one sanctioned by the President himself. I'm looking forward to Film 3.
An added bonus was the Disney cartoon up front where Goofy gets a bigscreen TV. The story details an armchair quarterback's quest for the optimal viewing experience and how simple it is to set up a modern home theatre system. The jokes were so fast and furious I had tears in my eyes by the end and my stomach hurt from laughing. This cartoon is second only to my all-time favorite movie cartoon featuring the "Madagascar Penguins" that featured in front of "Wallace and Gromit--the Curse of the Were-Rabbit."
There are several excellent reviews, as well as some rushed ones, of this movie already in the Reviews & Guides. What they all have in common is the 5-star rating they give this movie. I give the movie 4 stars, not because I didn't thoroughly enjoy the movie, but because I feel that the differences from National Treasure #1 were not changes for the better. Specifically, there are far less quirky details about American history, the founding fathers and unique pieces of Americana. This has been replaced with a lot more bantering between spouses, Ben Gates and his sometimes estranged wife, Abigail, and now Ben's parents (played admirably by Jon Voigt and Helen Mirren). The plot revolves around Ben's struggle to clear a direct ancestor of complicity in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. While the National Treasure premise is based on some incredible coincidences and unrealistic encounters, all in fun of course, National Treasure 2 really pushes the envelope with break-ins at Buckingham Palace and the Oval Office and ultimately, kidnapping of the President of the United States. Kudos to Ed Harris, as always, for a sterling supporting performance as the "villain" of this installment.
Benjamin Franklin Gates and Dr. Abigail Chase -- who found riches and romance at the end of their first hunt for national treasure -- reteam with their wisecracking partner in crime Riley Poole, for another romp through U.S. history. Now, armed with a stack of long-lost pages from John Wilkes Booth's diary, Ben is obsessed with finding the truth behind President Abraham Lincoln's assassination.
Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel
The original cast is back in this exciting, action packed sequel that will keep you guessing and will certainly leave you wanting more!
National Treasure 2 Book of Secrets takes you on a globe trotting adventure with our favorite treasure hunting family, the Gates, led by Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) who is joined again by his father played by Jon Voight, with the welcome addition of Ben's mother played by Oscar winner Helen Mirram.
This movie is nothing short of excellence, it is a great all round family movie that finds you trying to figure out the clues and treasure hunt along with the cast!
I recommend that if you haven't seen the first National Treasure movie to watch the first one, before watching this one.