National Treasure: Book of Secrets

This is the movie which opened to a great box office response and has garnered over 275 million USD.For those of you who have watched National Treasure (part 1) and liked it, this movie will be liked too. For those of you who loved reading an adventure novel and loved being lost in a world of treasure hunting, smart villains and lost of chases, dangerous passages etc will love this movie, the sequel called the Book of Secrets.

Benjamin Gates (Nicholas cage) and Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) are out to prove that Ben's great grandfather was not a part of the conspiracy to kill Abraham Lincoln. Yup, the movie begins with a sequence set a few days after the American Civil war and shows John Wilkes Booth assassinating Abe Lincoln. Ben Gate's great grandfather comes across a treasure map (considering the movie is named National treasure, what else !) and burns it to ensure it does not fall into wrong hands and dies in the process.

Ben Gates recounts this tale at many a university after his fame from discovering the Templar Treasure (in part 1) keeps him famous. But then, comes Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris)from another family from the civil war days with proof claiming Ben Gate's great grandfather was not a patriot but in fact the mastermind of the Lincoln assassination !

The proof being a page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth which is the book of secrets ? The story thereafter progress with two parallel plots or objective, one being Ben Gate's intention to clear the name of his ancestor and the other being to find the ancient treasure of the city of Gold. Ben is joined by his loyal friend and bumbling partner Riley Poole (John Bartha) and then ropes in his now separated girlfriend Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) to join the adventure

I like adventure stories too. They remind me of my childhood days where I would take a novel and not rest till I finished reading it. I like a good movie too. But then, when a movie sticks to its familiar pattern of one liners, bumbling friends, suave stylish villains and of course ancient (tremendous value to American history) hidden treasure, you wonder, what is there in this movie to make it so successful ?

Belive me, the answer is 'nothing'. All the box office takings possibly because there was no other major commercial entertainer releasing at the same time. Helmed by Jon Turtletaub who also made the first movie, this movie was a gross disappointment. It was like one of those toffees you keep chewing to see what's inside and are disappointed to find some gooey, not so tasty stuff. The movie just doesn't hold you as the first one did and yes I am aware that most sequels do not live up to their original (except maybe for The Godfather I & II and the Star War original trilogy). The movie has all the usual elements including the cold eyed, tough & confident villain portrayed awesomely by Ed Harris and the beautiful historian. Yes, there's a surprise too with Helen Mirren turning in as Ben's mother and who also happens to be an expert on ancient languages. Explains the fact why Ben is so good at what he does (including kidnapping the president ! Whew !)and then there is the FBI agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel)who seems to know everything,says nothing but gets to all the right places at the right time.

Am I being too harsh on this movie ? I think not. Did I enjoy watching the movie ? Should you watch it ? Well...I can't tell you everything. Decide for yourself !


suresh January 14, 2008 at 5:48 AM  

i think the sequel as been made just for the heck of it, NA 1 anytime-------

cameron January 22, 2008 at 5:51 AM  

I liked the first movie but have not gone to this one because, generally, sequals disappoint. Sounds like I was right.

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