Review: National Treasure, Book of Secrets

Quoted from IMDB:

Treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicholas Cage) looks to discover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, by uncovering the mystery within the 18 pages missing from assassin John Wilkes Booth’s diary.

Seems like Nicholas Cage has an unfortunate ability to screen in lousy films recently. Look at The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider and Next. All either have impossibly lousy plots or lousy effects or even both. Fortunately he had National Treasure which bagged “an unexpected $347.5 million worldwide” to give him another shot in an okay film.

The Wicker Man Ghost Rider Next National Treasure

Sad to say, he got himself another lousy movie… This movie is only recommended to those who like actions but don’t expect that it’d be as good as National Treasure 1.0.

Treasure hunting involves lots of actions and cracking clues. The problem with this movie is that all focus seems to be placed on impossible actions instead of plot. It was to the extent that the actions seems totally unreal. What’s with balancing people on a huge wooden platform? Why was the golden statue available when they needed a counter weight? And all the clues are so disjointed that they didn’t flow into one another like what National Treasure 1.0 managed to pull off. Anyone who knows what is the meaning behind the “hummingbird” code that Benjamin Gates’s mum left for him? What’s with some private family jokes that only the Gates family can understand?

Then there’s this concept of heroes who never gets a scratch on themselves despite any circumstances thrown to them. This is sort of a side effect in the progress of computer effects. Lead actors just get stronger and more invincible. But look at Ethan Hunt of Mission Impossible, Jason Bourne, and even the latest iteration of James Bond and Superman. All who used to be suave and invincible now lives in a more realistic world where they get hurt and the audience feels for. I felt no connection with Benjamin Gates throughout the film because I know for sure he’d survive. Guess I’m already numbed to such invincibility.

Sigh~ Another movie which one comes out having learnt nothing significant…

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4 thoughts on “Review: National Treasure, Book of Secrets

  1. Hi! The hummingbird reference was explained in the bonus features in a deleted scene where the characters are at Mt. Rushmore and Ben asks his dad if his mom said anything else. Patrick says that Emily again pointed out the sacrifices she made for their family. Ben picks it up from there, saying that his mom used to tell him a story about Tanagila (tah-nah-hey-lah), the Lakota legend of the Hummingbird that sacrificed itself to save the moon and the earth, which it said was its family. They realize that Emily *is* the hummingbird and Ben immediately calls his mom, getting Wilkinson instead. He’s kidnapped Emily and let’s Ben talk to her briefly before hanging up on him. Wilkinson and his goons arrive with her at Mount Rushmore and catch up to Ben and the others. The movie picks up from there. The scene (whole chapter, rather) was cut and reshot as a 3 minute transition that covered what the audience needed to know…except the hummingbird.

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