National Treasure 2 Review

National-Treasure-2-ReviewThanks for checking out our National Treasure 2 review. When the first National Treasure film came out, my first reaction to it was mild. It wasn’t a “bad” film, as a matter of fact it had same very enjoyable qualities to it and I ended up being modestly entertained by it. Having said that the film also had its weaknesses, not the least of which was a nagging sense that the movie was just a cheap capitalization of the motif of The Da Vinci Code. Still, Sean Bean was in it and it certainly had it’s share of fun… so not too bad overall.

I must admit that I was surprised when I heard that a sequel was in the works. First of all the first one wasn’t really good enough to warrant one, nor did I think the box office returns were hight enough to coax studio executives into loosening up the purse strings. But for whatever reason the whole gang is back for National Treasure: Book of Secrets (not to be confused with Blair Witch 2’s Book of Shadows).

THE GENERAL IDEA

Nicolas Cage’s character is now quite famous for his discovery in National Treasure. On giving a lecture about the heroic efforts of his great great grandfather to prevent the South from winning the civil war, a new piece of evidence is brought to light by Ed Harris which implicates Cage’s great great grandfather as one of the conspirators in the assassination of President Lincon. This event begins the adventure for Cage and his father (again played by Jon Voight) to clear their family name. This adventure will take them to England, France and around the US discovering the secrets to the lost City of Gold that will ultimately vindicate their ancestor’s name.

THE GOOD

The movie is fun. The key to any sort of adventure film is to make the audience feel engaged in the character’s adventure on screen. I found National Treasure 2 did that. There is a good mix throughout the film of not only intellectual puzzle solving, but also of Indiana Jones type danger and action (not to mention a pretty good little car chase in it as well). Yes, some of these elements were a little too easy and a touch far fetched, but still… it’s the movies. The film did a fine job of making you feel like you were along for the ride, and on that level it really worked.

The characters are ultimately likable. Quirks and all, you LIKE Nicolas Cage’s character. You LIKE Voight. You even end up liking the sidekick quite a bit, and in a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is a little tongue in cheek, that’s REALLY important. It’s a silly little movie, and thus you need to like and feel invested a little in the people who are taking you for the ride. I especially liked Cage’s sidekick (played by Justin Bartha) who did play the stereotypical adventurers sidekick (doing the menial tasks, being a little bumbling, able to hack all the computers), but was also a little more substantial than that as well. He was a more well rounded character than the usual sidekick roles which was nice.

Solid supporting cast in the movie. Helen Mirren, Jon Voight, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel and one of my absolute favorite character actors Bruce Greenwood fill out their roles very nicely. No Oscar nominations forthcoming… but you certainly feel like you’re getting your $10 worth when that sort of a cast is put together.

THE BAD

As much as the adventure in the film was well played out on the screen, some of the HUGE leaps in reasoning were a little hard to swallow and thus speed bumped the movie for me. There are several parts in the movie where a cryptic clue is revealed, and Nicolas Cage just makes the most wild, out of no where connections that ultimately are always correct and lead him exactly to where he needs to be next. These types of films (like “who done its”) are always more satisfying when the audience member has the potential of figuring out the mystery along the way (not that they have to figure it out… but when the mystery is revealed they could slap their heads because they COULD have figured it out), the answers Cage comes up with are so out of left field that it makes the audience feel like a sideline spectator, instead of being on the adventure as well. This was a problem throughout the whole movie.

I’ve already mentioned the supporting cast and how seeing them all up there alone makes you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth… HOWEVER… if you’re going to amass that calibre of talent… GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO DO! You’ve got these Oscar winners walking around on screen playing characters that do next to nothing in the film, and what little there was to do for them, it was so shallow that they didn’t even really need to act the scenes out. Especially wasted were Helen Mirren and Keitel. I’m not saying change the story to give them more meat per se… but why put Keitel in there in the first place if some newbie actor could have played the same role just as well?

I like Diane Kruger… but she was just painful to watch in this film. I have no idea why she came off the way she did in it… but every line she had to deliver, and every facial expression she had to make made me feel like I was watching some half assed high school play that wasn’t rehearsed very well. I realize that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. It was like I was watching the dreadful Thawndie Newton. I’ve seen her do better, and I trust we won’t see her this bad again… but she did drop the ball in this one.

OVERALL
Wasted major league talent and unrealistic puzzle solving aside, National Treasure: Book of Secrets does what it seems to set out to be, a light, easy, fun little adventure movie with some laughs along the way. The characters are likable, the adventure wasn’t too grand scale, and the ending satisfying. Certainly not a cinematic classic, and certainly no Indiana Jones, but in the end a more than serviceable Saturday afternoon movie. Overall I give National Treasure 2 a 7 out of 10.

YOU CAN WATCH THE VIDEO REVIEW HERE

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28 thoughts on “National Treasure 2 Review

  1. Saw it on DVD. Yeah, not a bad piece of entertainment for a rainy day. Was enjoying it right up until the part where Cage’s character hands the golden city over to the U.S Government, archeologists and the like. From there, it really XXXXXX me off! Firstly, if there REALLY was such a place, the ‘Keepers'(Native Americans) of this sacred site would have the place so buried, not even this over-excitable lot would ever find it! Secondly, if there REALLY was such a place, and Ben Gate was a REAL person and he REALLY did find this site, what he did at the end certainly made sure that the true history and meaning of the golden city would never be known! But, it’s only make believe ain’t it, so it doesn’t matter. Still, thought the end writing was pretty disrespectful.

  2. (Type your comment here. Make sure you’ve read the commenting rules before doing so) it wasnt really impressing movie but somehow i couldnt stop laughing.

  3. I liked the movie. It has a fun cast, and I’ve never had a real problem with Nicholas Cage. I think Diane Kruger sucks. She’s bad in the first and she was the worst part of Troy, she made Orlando Bloom suck in every scene they were in. The film was fun. But I hated the fact (spoiler) that Ed Harris’ character says at the end when they find the City of Gold, “Sorry I framed your Granddaddy, I just wanted to find the city of gold.” That was stupid. I gave it a 7/10 as well.

  4. My daughter and I have a bet….she thinks the Prez is played by Mark Harmon – and I know she’s wrong! LOL! But nowhere can I find the name of the actor who plays him….help me out!

  5. “Certainly not a cinematic classic, and certainly no Indiana Jones” your right in that one, indiana jones is pure rubbish, and this film is incredible, and it’s not a classic, it’s not meant to be.

  6. I enjoyed this flick. Not sure why critics rated it as they did…but then movies I enjoy rarely get great reviews. I love Indiana Jones movies, by the way, so if you liked them or enjoyed the first National Treasure movie then you will probably get into this one. I look forward to the third movie and hope they develop the “page 47” clue.

  7. the first movie was a lot better…the screenplay, action, suspense, comedy..music…real disney classic…

  8. this movie bored me..period. the dialoges were stupid… and can u imagine doings things in the white house that arouse suspicion without getting seen?? dont they have hidden cameras..???cctv..??

  9. I saw the movie yesterday, and i think its a very nice movie. Most reviews are critical about this movie, but i think you musn’t see the movie that way. I think it’s an enjoyable adventure

  10. I didn’t mind the movie…although the first NT was much better I found it facsinating to see Nick in a sequel, reprising an old character which he’s never done before…I don’t believe he has!

  11. I am always pretty skeptical about sequels (shoddy plot lines, reused jokes, etc.) and this one was no exception. I was really not a fan at all. It bugged me that everything came so easily to Cage’s character (which has been mentioned) but the other thing that really bugged me was Diane Kruger’s character. It was the exact thing as Jon Voight’s character in the first movie. The build up was the same, the jokes were the same, and the role that she played were all the same as the dad in the first one.

    But my family all enjoyed it, maybe I’m just a little to critical and should stop judging it like a pillar of cinematic history.

  12. I actually thought it was pretty good, although I didn’t like how the clues were so far-fetched and difficult to figure out. I did think that it was also a bit slow at points, which was a real pest to me because I enjoy a faster-paced movie as opposed to one that slowly progresses. Even still, I thought it was decent enough.

  13. YOU GUYS ARE CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I saw it over hte break an dit was absolutly amazing. I never had soooo much fun watching a movie in my life………jkjk it was ok…….JUNO was alot better

  14. I Took my sons to see it yesterday and I have to say it was pretty far fetched and slow in most parts. The car chase was exciting but that’s about it. I actually napped @ some point toward the end before they found the gold city. It was long and NC I thought looked so different with his new teeth and what looked like a wig. The kids enjoyed it ( I think)!

  15. Come on guys…
    Why should you care? I can say the same thing about that retarted Lord of the Rings Hogwash… Of course I don’t care it’s a M O V I E. However because I knew that what I was seeing could never actually happen, i enjoyed the films anyway. Suspend disbelief for a few hours and I think you will be entertained. If you are not a fan of history however, it is best that you refrain from seeing this flick.

  16. The supporting cast is entirely the reason why I hate this movie without seeing it.

    I’d much rather Ed Harris, Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel and even Nicholas Cage be doing other things than this dumb, dumb, dumb stuff. oi!

  17. i just got done watching this movie and i have to tell u this movie was crap imo…..cage looks like he has a lb. of make up on in the whole movie and well i wouldnt have given it a 6…

    btw cage used to be the man but it seems like these new movies are catered more for the younger crowd ..which i respect but man i with i could see him in a raising arizona type role…classic!

  18. theres not a thirth choice?
    the white sueter its too bland and black cannibal corps t shirt its to radical!
    oh choices !choices!
    where is darren whith a gray turtle neck?

  19. I love the reviews made by the both of you. It really reveals to the readers all the possible reactions we can have by watching the movie. I never agree entirely with neither one, but it gives an amazing perspective.
    Tks

  20. This movie has never appealed to me – and I liked the first one.

    Why do I care/why should I care if some dude’s family member was supposedly involved in the assassination of Lincoln? I don’t. I don’t know why it matters. No one in real life would care. It’s in the past. It has no bearing on now. “To clear the family name”??? Who the **** cares?

    If someone can explain to me WHY I should care about the main storyline and how Nic Cage is affected, I might be more interested. Until then…

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