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  Publicity Stills of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets"
(Courtesy from BVI)

Genre: Adventure/Action
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Ed Harris, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Bruce Greenwood, Helen Mirren
RunTime: 2 hrs 5 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.nationaltreasure.com

Opening Day: 20 December 2007


In this follow up to the box-office hit "National Treasure," treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) once again sets out on an exhilarating, action-packed new global quest to unearth hidden history and treasures.

When a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth surfaces, Ben's great-great grandfather is suddenly implicated as a key conspirator in Abraham Lincoln's death. Determined to prove his ancestor's innocence, Ben follows an international chain of clues that takes him on a chase from Paris to London and ultimately back to America. This journey leads Ben and his crew not only to surprising revelations – but to the trail of the world's most treasured secrets.

Movie Review:

History would tell us that John Wilkes Booth, a successful stage actor, assassinated the United States’ 16th president John Abraham Lincoln at Washington D.C.’s Word Theatre on April 14 1865. Some 140 years later, a Hollywood movie would suggest otherwise. Urban Legend would tell us that there is a president’s Book of Secrets which contains all the written documentations and exact histories of America’s shadiest conspiracies like Area 51. This Hollywood movie would tell us where this secret book is located.

Such audacity! Such boldness! Such nerves!

Not that there is anything to worry about, because the sequel to the 2004 movie is a Hollywood production after all, and anything fictional can be cooked up in the name of entertaining the masses. And what a fine job it does.

Nicolas Cage returns as treasure hunter Ben Gates to prove his great-grandfather’s innocence when a missing page from Booth’s diary resurfaces and suggests that a certain Thomas Gates could have been involved in the president’s assassination. Returning with him are his girlfriend Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger), his wise-cracking sidekick Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), his kooky father Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) and FBI agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel). Together, the gang travels from Buckingham Palace to the White House, from Mount Vernon to Mount Rushmore, picking up Ed Harris’ sinister bad guy Mitch Wilkinson and Helen Mirren’s regal mother Emily Appleton along the way to join in the adventure.

That’s quite a fun cast to work with, if you ask us.

There are the action sequences which are engaging to sit through - Other than seeing Cage, Kruger and Bartha being pursued around the streets of Paris in an exhilarating car chase scene, the best bits have to be seeing 62-year-old Mirren and 69-year-old Voight prancing around a crumbling abandoned city where huge rocks threaten to crush the lives out of you anytime.

There are the funny one-liner scenes, courtesy of Bartha’s straight-talking character and the always wonderful Mirren. The first time the Academy Award winner appears, she commands the scene immediately with her screen presence.

The there are the suspenseful sequences which will have you gripping the edges of your seats – Cage attempts to find clues in the president’s office while Kruger stalls for time, Cage talks his way to trapping the president in a narrow tunnel so that he can find out more about the Book of Secrets.

As you can see, the hero here is still Cage and his overwhelming persona. Watch out for a particular sequence in the museum where Mr. Serious ditches his oh-so-serious expressions to make us roll in laughter with his hilarious drunk antics.

The Jon Turteltaub-directed holiday blockbuster definitely knows what its audiences want: A Jerry Bruckheimer-styled adventure that brings you around the globe with lots of things to see, lots of things to chuckle about and lots of enthralling stunts to be excited about. Who cares about the coincidental clues the conveniently lead to one another, the authenticities of historical facts and conspiracies when such there is so much fun in store?

Movie Rating:

(Suspend all your believes and go along for the fun ride to find the National Treasure)

Review by John Li


. Next (2007)

. Deja Vu (2006)

. National Treasure (2004)

. Narco DVD (2004)

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