Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Movies: National Treasure - Book of Secrets


Hollywood has often been accused of turning out sequel after sequel, and "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" is a good piece of evidence for the prosecution. How can a movie featuring the likes of Nicolas Cage, Harvey Keitel, Ed Harris, Jon Voight, and Helen Mirren (who between them have three Oscar wins and 9 nominations) possibly be disappointing?

"Book of Secrets" follows right up from where the original "National Treasure" movie left off. Cage plays a treasure hunter who is determined to find the missing page of John Wilkes Booth's diary to clear his family's name. The movie plays out almost exactly like its predecessor - there's a long string of absurdly placed clues, a rival treasure hunter team, several high-tech break-ins, and a final action setpiece in a Big Dumb Ancient Place.

The laziness isn't just apparent from the story. There are some moments of overacting and arch camp, and the special effects in the end sequence are underwhelming. On the bright side, the obligatory car chases aren't bad, and the movie moves along briskly enough.

Rating: 6/10

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