"National Treasure: Book of
Directed by Jon Turteltaub.
Written by Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley.
Starring Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger and Ed Harris.
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 12/19/07
I said it throughout my review of the 2004
adventure "National Treasure"--something
about the film makes you realize IN THE MOMENT that all of this is
ridiculous, but it's watchable, at times very watchable, because it
does just enough with its core threesome of lead actors (Nic Cage,
Justin Bartha and Diane Kruger) and a very amusing line of puzzles
to keep it going.
But, they weren't getting me twice, and
while watching "National Treasure: Book of Secrets", even I had to
admit that the plot is so ridiculous that someone ought to win an
award for this horseshit. I mean, not only are treasure maps
hidden in TWIN FUCKING DESKS, they are hidden within Buckingham
Palace and the Oval Office of the White House...and, essentially,
hero/treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (Cage) just walks in
through the front door and gets access to both pieces of this
Did I mention that later, Gates even kidnaps
the President of the United States?
Look, you come in knowing this will be silly
business, and at least the film delivers on that initial promise.
But, this go-round, I was not swept away in the Disney magic of this
adventure; it was more "WTF!" than "Holy smokes!", if you catch my
drift. Bartha, returning as Gates' sidekick Riley, has most of
the film's funny lines, and he generally saves his scenes from being
completely gag-worthy; Ed Harris isn't strong as the film's bad guy;
Harvey Keitel shows up as either a cop or a fed (maybe a fed), but
either way, he, too, was wasted here. The story moves us from
exotic point to exotic point (DC to Paris to London to DC to Mount
Rushmore), but the story and its puzzles were such reaches, I found
this more yawn-worthy than I had previously thought possible.
My fiancée loved the first "National
Treasure" film and as a pure popcorner, I am sure she will love this
one, too; for others who enjoy this kind of movie, nothing has
changed, and that will be a good thing for many of you. For
the rest of you, run, run away!!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard