National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner06/02/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 124 mins

Enjoyable, popcorn-flavoured sequel that takes the successful formula of the first film and doesn't change it at all, except for the welcome additions of Helen Mirren and Ed Harris.

What's it all about?
When a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth implicates one of his ancestors in Lincoln's assassination, treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) sets out to prove his innocence. Reuniting with wise-cracking tech whizz Riley (Justin Bartha) and ex-girlfriend Abigail (Diane Kruger), Gates embarks on a quest that takes him to Paris, London and back to America, on the trail of a mysterious Book of Secrets that will clear his ancestor's name.

Unfortunately, the quest also requires some minor law-breaking, such as breaking into Buckingham Palace and kidnapping the US President (Bruce Greenwood). However, help is at hand, in the form of Ben's estranged parents, Patrick (Jon Voight) and Emily (Helen Mirren).

The Good
Justin Bartha is slightly more irritating this time round and Diane Kruger is as wooden as ever, but Cage is great fun, particularly when he's goofing around (e.g. doing a hilariously awful English accent). There's also strong support from Helen Mirren, who generates surprising chemistry with Jon Voight.

The Bad
By far the oddest thing in the film is Cage's bizarre sideburn-free hairdo. Similarly, if you stop to think about the film at any point it starts to fall apart – for example, how likely is it that none of the leads would have a cameraphone? Other than that, the film delivers exactly the same combination of rapidly-solved puzzles, wisecracking dialogue and action-packed set-pieces (right down to a finale in a steadily collapsing set) that made the first film such a success, so if it starts to feel like you've seen it before, it's probably because you have. At any rate, it works – the sequel was a smash hit in the States, so expect National Treasure 3 before long.

Worth seeing?
In short, National Treasure: Book of Secrets is a perfectly enjoyable sequel and a decent popcorn flick, provided you don't think about it too much afterwards.

Film Trailer

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets has been reviewed by 3 users
image
01 Into the Storm (tbc)

Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sump...

image
02 Horrible Bosses 2 (tbc)

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennif...

image
03 God's Pocket (tbc)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Rich...

image
04 Wakolda (tbc)

Alex Brendemuhl, Diego Peretti, Guillermo Pfening

image
05 Annabelle (tbc)

Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Eric Ladin

Content updated: 30/07/2014 14:07

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Mood Indigo (12A)

Breathtakingly imaginative and beautifully designed, this is an engaging, funny and ultimately moving love story. Starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.