Tuesday, May 27, 2008

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

In "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets" treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage), his father (Jon Voight), ex-girlfriend Abigail (Diane Kruger) and funny sidekick Riley (Justin Bartha) are all back for this sequel to "National Treasure." When the movie begins, Ben is giving a speech about his great-great-grandfather, Thomas Gates, who was supposedly a national hero for preventing a southern extremist group, known as the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC), that was operating in the north to subvert union forces during the Civil War from acquiring the pages in John Wilkes Booth's diary which provided the key to a treasure map. If Thomas Gates hadn't given his life to burn those pages before the KGC could decipher the message, they would've found the treasure of gold and union forces may have lost the civil war. Into this walks Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris) who produces a previously thought missing page of the diary which potentially implicates Ben's great-great-grandfather as a co-conspirator of President Lincoln's assassination instead of a hero. Ben then makes it his mission to clear his family name, which in turn requires finding the previously mentioned treasure (the City of Gold), and so begins the adventure. As in the first movie, Ben turns to his merry group of cohorts, Abigail, Riley and his dad, for their help and expertise in solving the puzzle and finding the treasure. In Da Vinci code fashion, one clue leads to another, leading them to different locations including Paris, London, DC and Mount Rushmore to find the clues and stay one step ahead of somebody else who's also looking for the treasure. Notable additions to the cast this go-around are Helen Mirren as Ben's mom, a supposed expert in pre-colonial native american languages, and Bruce Greenwood as the President of the United States. For me, this sequel was not as good as the first movie, but it was still entertaining. It's definitely a "Disney" movie and therefore pretty family-friendly with a good mix of adventure, including relatively tame action scenes, and humor to keep the mood light.