Friday, August 10, 2012

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) [PG] ***

I must agree with film critic Roger Ebert's characterization of this as a mouth agape movie; during the film your jaw will hang open in astonishment as one preposterous event follows another. The concept is that treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) wants to uncover the mystery within the missing pages of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth's diary, so Gates can restore the good name of his ancestor Thomas Gates, who has been identified as the mastermind behind the assassination plot.

In the process Ben Gates discovers that the plot involved a treasure map and the search for Cibola, one of the seven Cities of Gold originally sought by Spanish explorers to North America. After traveling to Paris and London in search of clues, after surviving a ridiculous car chase by another team of treasure hunters led by Ed Harris' character, our three intrepid treasure hunters almost magically return to the U.S. where they learn that there exists a book of secrets that is passed from one U.S. president to the next, and never seen by anyone else, a book that contains all sorts of fascinating secrets, including, for instance, the existence of Area 51 in the Nevada desert, as well as clues to the location of Cibola. Since the existence of Cibola will prove that Thomas Gates was a loyal U.S. citizen and not Lincoln's assassin, the treasure hunters must find Cibola, which means they must actually kidnap the current U.S. president, and get him to let them look at the book of secrets! Amazingly, they succeed, and uncover the clue that sends them off to South Dakota in search of Cibola.

The screenplay features huge plot holes, unbelievable locations, improbable events and inane dialogue. Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Bruce Greenwood, Harvey Keitel and Ed Harris must have wondered what they were doing in this disaster of a film, besides collecting a paycheck. Caution - you will never get back the two hours you waste on this film. 

Labels: action, adventure, Ferrari, mystery, thriller

Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 48/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=48, viewers=72)

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