Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (2007). Director: Jon Turteltaub.
In this sequel to National Treasure, Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage), his dad (Jon Voight) and associates (Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha) go on another treasure hunt after Mitchell Wilkinson (Ed Harris) claims that Gates' great-grandfather was part of a conspiracy to murder Abraham Lincoln. Somehow this all necessitates the temporary kidnapping of the United States president (Bruce Greenwood of Nowhere Man] because he has a certain secret book, and leads to a City of Gold underneath Mount Rushmore. [At least the film doesn't have the temerity to ape North by Northwest by having a lot of action on Rushmore itself]. Helen Mirren is trapped in this nonsense playing Cage's mother. This is a completely contrived do-over that may satisfy undiscriminating fans of the first film, but it should not be confused with a first-rate suspense or action film. The underground sets are extremely well-done, however, although a bit of business on a huge suspended platform that has to be carefully balanced by the people standing on it, doesn't make much sense [what is it doing there in the first place?] Nicolas Cage isn't really well-suited to this genre when all is said and done. Another unnecessary sequel is in the works.
Verdict: Unconvincing and unmemorable. **.