Movie #53 2021: National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

Yes, I loved the first National Treasure so much that I immediately watched the sequel. And what?!

National Treasure: Book of Secrets goes even more crazy than its predecessor. How is that even possible, you ask? Well, Cage’s Benjamin Franklin Gates this time goes on a mission to kidnap the President of the United States. Batshit crazy, right? Right! This time, Gates is on a voyage around the world when he finds out that his great-great-grandfather has been named as one of the people behind the killing of Abraham Lincoln. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. To redeem his family lineage, he sets out to discover The City of Gold to clear his grandfather’s name… But not without several obstacles, of course.

So… it’s obviously not as good as the first one. I will tolerate no slander relating to the first National Treasure, but this one does not meet the high expectations I had due to the previous movie being such a barrel of excitement.

There’s much less pace to the sequel unfortunately. There’s also certainly less action (particularly for the first half of the movie). For instance, the first movie begins with Cage and Sean Bean navigating a snowy tundra that results in an antique ship exploding, whereas this one… To be honest, I don’t even remember how it began. Despite these misgivings, once it gets into it there’s at least some fun to be had. However, the story is once again rooted in US history and politics so OF COURSE I found it interesting, even if it’s mostly – if not entirely – fictional. 

Sadly, these characters are far less likeable this time round. (Except Riley, who is a small angel.) Cage and Kruger do a whole lot of yelling and bickering which is not what I came here to see, and if those few sequences were cut out it’d be a much more solid film. In fact, cut out all of the romantic subplots. I don’t care if Helen Mirren is part of one of them. Meh. 

When it comes down to it, it just feels like some of the story didn’t altogether many an ounce of sense. Did I miss something? Why the hell did finding this treasure mean it would clear Gates’ family name? Is this a massive plot hole or was I just not listening intently enough? HELP. I’M CONFUSED. Wait, no I’m not. It’s definitely a plot hole of the most epic proportions.

I mean, there’s really little else to say about it. At best it’s got some funny moments, and at worst it’s completely and utterly forgettable. Just do yourself a favour and only watch the first instalment, I guess.

Overall, it’s pretty average and the treasure hunt itself isn’t anywhere near as exciting as it was in the first movie.

Saying that, would I be mad if they made a third? Hell nope. Bring it to me, Disney. Redeem yourselves, cowards.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Rating: ½

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