2 Stars
Year Released: 2007
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 124 minutes
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Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

It’s not every day I can drop a one-liner that pertains to the Lincoln assassination, but since “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” concerns itself with the diary of John Wilkes Booth, at least to start, I figured now would be the best time to do so. That, and I sure as Hell don’t know what was going on so attempting to be marginally funny over, I don’t know, sharing actual filmic insight might be the only route I can take with this overly-convoluted sequel.

“National Treasure: Book of Secrets” is the sequel to the surprisingly popular “National Treasure,” and it tells the tale of one Benjamin Franklin Gates, treasure hunter and, after a very embarrassing interruption at a Civilian Heroes conference, namesake to the newly alleged mastermind of the Lincoln assassination, great-great grandfather Thomas Gates. Of course, since such a connection is a dubious one at best, Benjamin decides to clear his family name and in the process travels to London to break into Buckingham Palace, breaks into the Oval Office, kidnaps the President of the United States, finds out the real, and quite ridiculous, reason for the creation of Mount Rushmore and uncovers a lost city of gold.

Now, that’s the rough-and-tumble, quick-and-dirty synopsis, but I hope it becomes clear just by reading that how needlessly convoluted the film is. It’d be one thing if the clues lead logically to one another, but not only are fanciful and unwieldy, they’re also solved within mere minutes. Essentially, the national treasures and secrets of the U.S. are protected via gibberish logic and… okay, so that actually DOES make sense considering half the other logic leaps we’ve made as a country over the past ten years (weapons of mass destruction, anyone)…

Is the film fun? Yeah, in that campy kind of “The Mummy” way, but it is also weak as a sequel in that very campy “The Mummy Returns” type of way. There’s no question all involved had a blast, but there’s little here beyond a confusing popcorn flick. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just so long as you know going in that you’re not getting anything more than that.

Posted on December 24, 2007 in Reviews by

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