National Treasure: Book Of Secrets
Benjamin (Nicolas Cage) and Patrick (Jon Voight) Gates are giving a friendly lecture about their ancestor Thomas Gates when Ed Harris has to come along and be a total douchebag. He tells everyone that he has proof that Thomas Gates was a conspirator and possibly the mastermind of the Lincoln assassination.† While this begins a hunt to clear his great-grandfatherís name, thatís not treasure.† Itís honorable, decent, and good, but it ainít treasure.† A city of gold is treasure and thatís what the film should be subtitled as the ďBook of SecretsĒ is just one in a chain of clues leading to the city. †
While its history may never be a hundred-percent and thereís a sickening amount of product-placement, Book of Secrets at least avoids the serious misstep of adding a kid which hurt other adventure sequels.† Thereís fresh conflict to be found without adding an endangered-yet-scrappy child and this is a cast that needs no help.† Everyone is clearly having a lot of fun (although they could give Helen Mirren, who plays Benís mom, more to do), the scene-stealer is once again comic-relief Justin Bartha as the lovable Riley Poole. Bartha has got to get a better agent because this film wouldnít be half a fun without him and itís just wrong that heís not in more movies.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turtletaub know exactly what makes this franchise work and thereís a clear set-up for a third movie. It may not be better than the other two, but when the films are this fun, it doesnít have to be.