Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) sets out to find the lost 18 pages from the diary of Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. One of the 18 missing pages has been discovered by Jeb Wilkinson (Ed Harris). On that page are th... more »e names of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. Thomas Gates, Ben Gates' great-great-grandfather, is listed on the page. After discovering this, Ben does not want Thomas Gates to be remembered "as a conspirator in the assassination of the man who brought this nation together." His quest to clear his family's name leads to unexpected twists and turns. Agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) tells Ben that a secret book has the information he needs. The president's "book of secrets" holds documents, for presidents' eyes only, of all the nations secrets; from the truth behind the JFK conspiracy, the missing minutes from the Watergate tapes, and Area 51. When Ben's request to see the book is denied, he says he must kidnap the president. Each clue leads him closer "to a discovery that the world isn't ready to believe."« less
John P. (AvraValleyJohn) from MARANA, AZ Reviewed on 7/20/2011...
A successful follow up to the original National Treasure. Good action sequences, good casting, and what little boy didn't once dream of finding lost treasure??
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Great action-adventure film PLUS a cartoon!
R. Kyle | USA | 12/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ben Gates is just not doing well at all:
His girlfriend broke up with him He's living with his father
Ben Gates' Great Grandfather, Thomas Gates, is just about to be nationally recognized as a hero when Mitch Wilkinson steps out and announces he has evidence that Thomas Gates was part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
In order to clear his ancestor's name, Ben, his sidekick Riley, and Ben's father start to investigate an order of Southern militants. What they discover was that Queen Victoria supported the Southerner's cause and she was attempting to help them find a treasure to finance the war.
Naturally, there's a treasure involved--the famed City of Gold. In order to find this treasure, they must race against Mitch Wilkinson and kidnap the US President to get to the Presidential Book of Secrets, containing information about everything from the City of Gold to Area 51 and the Kennedy Assassination.
Along the way, Ben's ex-girlfriend, Abigail, and Mom, Dr. Em Appleton, are added to the treasure hunting crew.
In my opinion, "Book of Secrets" has exceeded the "National Treasure." The story's better, the ensemble cast is strongly refined, and both the jokes and action just keep coming. Everyone in the cast save for Ed Harris impressed me. I honestly wasn't sure whether Mitch Wilkinson was a mercenary or a misguided man trying to claim some fame for his own family.
And yes--there appears to be a good chance we will see more of Ben Gates' adventuring. This one sanctioned by the President himself. I'm looking forward to Film 3.
An added bonus was the Disney cartoon up front where Goofy gets a bigscreen TV. The story details an armchair quarterback's quest for the optimal viewing experience and how simple it is to set up a modern home theatre system. The jokes were so fast and furious I had tears in my eyes by the end and my stomach hurt from laughing. This cartoon is second only to my all-time favorite movie cartoon featuring the "Madagascar Penguins" that featured in front of "Wallace and Gromit--the Curse of the Were-Rabbit."
"Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have dived yet again into their secret book to pull out a map that leads to treasures of vast fortune. No, not a legendary city of gold, but the riches that come from storming the box office. National Treasure: Book of Secrets is everything a big budget adventure sequel should be. A bigger story and better action help make Book of Secrets a surprising end of the year crowd pleaser.
Setting out to clear his ancestor's name, Ben Gates is back in treasure-hunting action to unequivocally prove that his family had nothing to do with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. With his usual cohorts Riley, Abigail and his father, Patrick Gates, the trio must race against the clock to stop a new enemy, Mitch Wilkinson, from uncovering an ancient treasure before they can, or forever risk the Gates name being associated with the death of one of America's greatest presidents.
A hit for Nicholas Cage has been long overdue. Spanning nearly two full years making dud after dud, Cage is back and in good form, even if a sequel to the massively successful National Treasure was a safe no-brainer. Book of Secrets is just as outlandishly fun as its predecessor, one-upping the original by having the principle characters break into Buckingham Palace and even kidnap the President of the United States!
Kudos have to be handed over to screenwriters Cormac and Marianne Wibberley for crafting such a big adventure, yet staying true to the themes that director John Turtletaub and company established with the first National Treasure. Even though their new adventure takes the entourage of talented character actor's across the globe, Book of Secrets manages to keep this treasure hunt a uniquely American tale. Just wait until you see where our government hid one of the most famed and sought after treasures of all time!
Upping the production value from the last film, Book of Secrets is crammed packed with puzzles, car chases and exciting action sequences to help keep the film filled with riveting adventure from opening to closing frame. John Turtletaub has again done a great job of keeping the manic pace of the film frantic and fun, even if there are a few solitary moments when the picture starts to feel the weight of its lengthy running time.
While the returning cast again does a stellar job continuing their characters, newcomers to the series Ed Harris and Hellen Mirren are welcomed additions to the story. While Harris is perfectly suited for the role, his character, Mitch Wilkinson, seems to be the only weak link to the story. Wilkinson seems like a very torn individual. One minute the dastardly villain is opening fire on our heroes, vowing to end their lives to get at the treasure, and the next he is helping them!
Luckily the picture's best moments don't hinge on confrontations between Cage and Harris. The real fun of National Treasure has always been watching as the characters solve some of history's most challenging puzzles. Book of Secrets is assuredly no different, keeping audiences on their toes and tantalizing them with conspiracy theories that will likely continue the franchise forward.
Between massive Pirate's plunder and uncovering buried National Treasure, 2007 aims to be a financially lucrative year for Disney's live action department. With surprises at every turn, Book of Secrets has established National Treasure as a viable and fun adventure franchise, making the film a must see holiday blockbuster that the whole family can enjoy.
-Joe Russo "
Diana F. Von Behren | Kenner, LA USA | 01/20/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the fact that this 2007 sequel to the popular "National Treasure" boasts a fine cast of actors (Nicholas Cage, Jon Voight, personal favorite Ed Harris and the incomparable Helen Mirren,) "Book of Secrets" catapults into a fast but formulaic action with a little less than the high voltage adrenaline the initial film offered, repositioning famed treasure-hunter/historian Ben Franklin Gates (Cage) to face yet another widely publicized dis --- this time linking his equally cipher-solving obscure masters-of-trivia ancestors to the Lincoln assassination. Unfortunately, the direction in which "Book" heads detours a bit from the mixture of DaVinci Code cleverness and conspiracy theory weaving through a politically fueled labyrinth of arcane societies that I expected.
Instead, Cage and Co. move at warp speed through each step of this adventure quest seeking the famed Cibola---City of Gold, gathering clues in a variety of eye-pleasing locations while connecting the dots with an ease that will make one's head spin and put the fastest number-crunching supercomputer to shame. The rather predictable climax, relying heavily on Speilberg's Indiana Jones success formula, replete with bickering, bantering adjuncts and couples and `look-what-you've-gotten-me-into-now' repartee wows the audience with the same unreal sensation achieved at the end of a Disneyland ride--think Pirates of the Caribbean when your amusement park shuttle boat lies in the shadow of the facsimile pirate ship and the whole audio-animatronic crew sings "(Yo Ho)A Pirate's Life for Me," while the gunpowder explodes and the backdrop shudders. In fact, this very feeling suggests what went wrong in this could-have-been fun more-adult film: an over reliance on Disney-fication--too much pyrotechnics over Sleeping Beauty castle: nuanced players under-utilized to depict banality, trite, yet s(n)appy dialogue that feigns intelligence, old tried-but-true attempts at humor that probably work well for the audience it attempted to capture--PG family far--and an underscoring of historical gravitas as depicted by Cage's deadpan expression and Bruce Greenwood's presidential suavity and emphasized by a soaring patriotic soundtrack.
Bottom line? "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" delivers exactly what the marquee suggests: pleasant albeit familiar family fare with a slick Disney polishing that seems to jump about more like a video game than a film. Recommended as a fun enjoyment for families but not for the more serious minded conspiracy theory aficionado. Diana Faillace Von Behren "reneofc" "
A Treasure for the Whole Family
M. Vance | TN | 12/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Book of Secrets closely follows the successful pattern of the first movie--adventurous, semi-historic treasure hunting. While some have criticized the movie from not being drastically different than the first offering, I did not view this as a problem. I'm not sure what the viewers with this particular criticism were expecting; I mean the movie is a sequel with the same characters, etc. In my mind you can't veer too far from the original premise or you won't have a logical sequel.
National Treasure 2 was a logical and worthy sequel to the first movie. All of the main characters and respective actors/actresses you'd expect to see made an appearance along with a few new additions. The film brings plenty of new puzzles, historic sites (including a few outside of the United States this time around), and perilous adventure.
How does the movie stack up to the original? If you enjoyed the first National Treasure then you'll like Book of Secrets. It is not as good as the first movie but it's awfully close. The only reason I say it is not as good as the first is because I had an idea of what to expect from the movie going in whereas with the first film everything (i.e., semi-historically based treasure hunting, characters, etc.) was completely new to me.
Additionally, the movie manages to offer all of these things in a very family friendly manner. I do not recall any offensive language or overly explicit sexuality. The violence is kept to a minim with no blood or gore. However, as with most adventure movies there was some suspense and action violence though nothing of great concern. This movie really is a treasure for the entire family. "