National Treasure: Book of Secrets

This was a decent film. An enjoyable sequel that was at least as enjoyable as the original. I want to say I enjoyed it more (in comparison to the original) than Be Cool (in comparison to Get Shorty) even though as I look at it they’re basically the same movie with different dialogue/situations. Maybe I just enjoy the premise of National Treasure more than Get Shorty/Be Cool. It’s a really fun adventure in the same vein as Indiana Jones with an American history twist. You don’t need to see the first movie to really enjoy this movie, but it might make things a little easier for you to understand minor quirks in the script. The opening sequence to the movie is awesome because they get the details of the Lincoln assassination perfect. Any time history is treated respectfully/correctly, I love it!

Nicholas Cage looked really tan, like he had a really high widow’s peak and like he had Botoxed his forehead. I didn’t like it very much….but I kind of looked past it because I enjoyed the movie so much.

Classic Star Wars moment when they’re driving away from the Library of Congress. Security is raising the pneumatic bars to keep the car from escaping but they drive right through it and then security crashes into the pneumatic bars.
Close the blast doors, close the blast doors. [Han Solo jumps through closing doors] Open the blast doors! Open the blast doors!

Spoiler Alert! (place and hold your mouse over the bar to see)

The Gates family name is sullied by black market dealer Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris) who claims that Benjamin Gates’ great grandfather, Patrick Gates, was the mastermind behind the Lincoln Assassination based on a missing, partially burned page of John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Gates deciphers a partial encryption burned into the page from the other page which logically deduces to "Laboulaye Lady", referring to the mini Statue of Liberty in front of the Eiffel Tower. A riddle is inscribed on the torch (much like the riddle from the meerschaum pipe in the first movie) that points to the Resolute desks in Buckingham Palace and the White House. Using the date of the inscription as a combination, they unlock a secret chamber in the Buckingham desk that contains a very ancient piece of wood with Native American symbols on it. They go to Ben’s mother, who translates it for them, but it’s only a partial translation, leading them to believe that the rest of the inscription is hidden in the other Resolute desk in the Oval Office. So they break into the White House and open up the desk’s secret compartment. But the plank is not there…just an indentation where the plank should be. Gates talks to Sadusky about the President’s "secret book". Sadusky confirms the books existence, so Gates kidnaps the President and asks him where the book is, after releasing him of course (Gates doesn’t know how to negotiate). So Gates goes to the Library of Congress, looks at the book and narrowly escapes the FBI. The page in the book talking about the plank mentions the Black Hills in North Dakota, so the treasure is near Mount Rushmore, but they still want the plank translated. They go back to Ben’s mom, but Mitch beats them there and makes her lie to them, but they figure it all out anyways and find the treasure "near" Mount Rushmore.

How did Sadusky know that Gates was at the Library of Congress? He’s a mason and knows "more about the book than he let on". How he explained it to the FBI is a different story altogether. “They’re at the Library of Congress. How do you know sir? Um…a little birdie told me?” Maybe the president told him that Gates was planning to go to the Library…

How does the FBI know that Gates is at Mount Rushmore? Because Gates called them and told them.

There’s no lake on top of Mount Rushmore. So obviously the island of stone in a sea of grass was actually the lake 20 miles northeast of Mount Rushmore (I really like to suspended disbelief). I mean Mount Rushmore was only built to distort the features of the map so that the true location would be difficult to find….

* Corrected in the Blu-ray release with a deleted scene…

Gates: You need that treasure. Believe me. I know.
Does this have anything to do with page 47?

The fake clue that Ben’s mom gives them (“Find where the moon touches the earth and release the hummingbird.”) is never explained and I don’t know why…they explain (pretty much) everything else in the movies!?!
** Corrected in the Blu-ray release with the same deleted scene…with a schmaltzy intro by director Jon Turteltaub saying we just had to cut it…more like Disney made him…grrrr

And the age of classic Disney animated shorts is upon us again! There’s a brand new Goofy cartoon before the movie! And guess what! On Goofy’s shelf is not only a picture of Mickey and Walt, but a picture of John Lasseter! I’m so excited! It was REALLY funny and made me really happy.

2 thoughts on “National Treasure: Book of Secrets

  1. Ticia

    Helen Mirren was so great in this! The mom could have come out as a huge stereotype but Mirren gave her depth and believability. I agree about wanting her clue explained though. I wonder if that’s the Elliott and Rossio touch at work again? Give the audience a fake clue that Ben Gates comments on the brilliance of without explaining – set up strange behavior by Capt Jack Sparrow that Gibbs comments on without explaining….

    Oh, and having a short at the start was great!

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