National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
October 26, 2020 11:27 AM - Subscribe

Benjamin Gates must follow a clue left in John Wilkes Booth's diary to prove his ancestor's innocence in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

When a long-missing page from the diary of assassin John Wilkes Booth suddenly resurfaces, it implicates the great-great grandfather of treasure hunter Ben Gates as a conspirator in Lincoln's death. Ben's globetrotting quest to prove his ancestor's innocence leads him to a closely guarded book containing the nation's deepest secrets.

Owen Gleiberman: Director Jon Turteltaub has fun with Indian glyphs, giant stone pulleys, and an Indy Jones-worthy City of Gold located beneath the rocky shoals of Mount Rushmore. Cage, trying to be light, looks about as gaunt as a Tim Burton ghoul, but he’s got a great bit paging through the book of secrets and skipping the part about the JFK assassination because they don’t have time. Jon Voight, as Ben’s father, and Helen Mirren, as his linguist mom, are touchingly embattled. The movie is about as nourishing as a bowl of trail mix, but it’s hard to stop eating. What’s next for National Treasure — the Teapot Dome scandal? Los Alamos? The mind boggles, as history trembles

Jennie Kermode: With an unchallenging plot, some interesting facts thrown in for history fans, and likable characters, this is an unpretentious, entertaining film which adults as well as kids can enjoy. That said, it doesn't quite live up to the standard set by its predecessor. During the clue-seeking stage of the plot, it's too concerned with imitation to develop any real character of its own. The puzzles themselves aren't very interesting and many of the discovery scenes feel rushed. This part of the film also suffers badly from the journey across the Atlantic, as it's doubtful that many UK viewers will be awestruck by the idea of visiting the Oval Office or will find it easy to identify with the strain of patriotism which courses through the story.

Kit Bowen: Much like the Indiana Jones series what makes the National Treasure movies fun are their sense of adventure the code-breaking–and the American history slant. They speak not only to the treasure hunters who crave excitement but also to the History Channel buffs. It’s a combination that works. Of course Book of Secrets is just as wildly far-fetched as the original National Treasure but Turteltaub keeps things moving at a good clip so you don’t mind suspending disbelief.

posted by Carillon (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Definitely not a good as the first one, I find the cracks show a lot more here. The ending scene with Harris also doesn't make much sense sadly, I get that it's ramping up the tension but it sorta flops when you think about it at all.
posted by Carillon at 11:28 AM on October 26, 2020

It's been a while since I watched this, and I think I only watched it once, but (unless I'm totally misremembering?) I appreciated that they didn't do the typical movie-franchise thing of disappearing the first movie's female lead and replacing her with a newer younger actress.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:03 PM on October 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

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