National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Christmas 2007 had me traveling back to the budding metropolis of Panama City, FL, to spend time with the parents.  Naturally, as with all holidays or days ending in “Y”, we saw movies.

First up was National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

I saw the first one and enjoyed it for reasons I will discuss later.   My parents enjoyed the first one as well, so it was a no-brainer as a first selection for us to see.

We decided to go out to the beach to see it, which if you know my parents, is a miracle unto itself.  Thankfully they let me drive so I was able to get through most of the traffic easily.  The theater was called The Grand and not affiliated with any chain, which is odd in this day and age.  Decent enough concessions and stadium seating, so it was nice.

The movie picks up some time after the first one ended.  We see familiar faces from the first one as we are presented with a new puzzle:  Was the Gates family responsible for the assassination  of President Lincoln?  From this premise, we are taken on a world-wide trek ending at Mount Rushmore, much like North By Northwest.

Was the movie enjoyable?  Yes, as long as you took it at face value and did not try to set it in reality.  Most of the original cast returns, with some good additions.  Story is thin, but with Bruckheimer and Cage, you are looking for a roller-coaster, not  The Godfather.

One thing that kept nagging me was how much the movie stole from a reality show.  In 2005, after the first movie came out at Christmas 2004, NBC did a reality show called Treasure Hunters.  This show involved doing some of the same things that the new movie does, right down to the locations of Paris and Mount Rushmore and WHY they were at each.  You would think the movie could do better.

My advice: Catch it on the big screen if you want to have fun, but do not worry if you miss it.

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