Related Articles: Movies, All

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

A Breathless Journey Through Revisionist History

Would you believe that Mount Rushmore was constructed as the result of a government conspiracy to conceal the whereabouts of a mythical City of Gold? No? Then perhaps you might be interested to learn that the back of the Declaration of Independence doubles as a treasure map, written in invisible ink, leading to gold foisted from ancient Egypt during the Crusades.

Not buying it? Well, perhaps the National Treasure movies are not for you. Those who dismissed the original as a pleasantly absurd imitation of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code will find nothing to change their minds in Book of Secrets.

This time, treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) and his brashly impulsive sidekick (Justin Bartha) embark on a mission to recover the missing 18 pages from John Wilkes Booth’s diary, hoping that they will clear the Gates family of any involvement in the Lincoln assassination. Along the way, they find it necessary to pillage the Oval Office, plunder the Queen’s private quarters in Buckingham Palace, and kidnap the President.

If that sounds silly, well, that’s what National Treasure does best. It is a wild, breathless ride through pages of American history too bizarre to be credible but entertaining in spite of itself, providing you check disbelief at the door. Those who do will be treated to a competently crafted, briskly paced adventure with a peerless cast (Helen Mirren, Jon Voight, Ed Harris) and a funny bone where its brain should be.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars