Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) is the latest in a long line of treasure hunters. The Gates family has been searching for a treasure hidden by the founders of the United States since the last founder told one of them the first clue many years ago. There's just one difference between Ben and his ancestors - he's solved the first riddle and that leads him to believe the next clue is on the back of the Declaration of Independence. When his financiers decided to steal the document, Ben realizes he's on his own to find the treasure and keep America's historical document safe. But in a race again time, will Ben and his friends win?
Ok, so maybe this movie isn't great cinema or the best movie ever made. It really doesn't matter, and you know why? Because the movie is fun. I had a smile on my face from start to finish and was often on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. Yes, I'm annoyed that we never found out how Ben tracked down the first clue. And there's at least one plot hole that will jump off the screen at you and several more that you'll find if you think about it. And there's the romantic sub-plot. Overall, it works, but it does create a few cheesy moments.
But in the end, I didn't care because the story engaged me, and the characters were fun. The beginning of the movie lays the ground work nicely if a little slowly, but once the story takes off, it never slows down. I found the banter between the characters very entertaining and laugh out loud funny on more then one occasion. I especially got a kick out of sidekick Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) and his commentary on the events. All the actors do a great job of making this impossible story believable, but especially the leads, Mr. Cage, Mr. Bartha, and Diane Kruger as the romantic complication. Plus setting the story around so much American history certainly didn't hurt this US history buff.
The DVD could have been better. The widescreen and surround sound are wonderful. It's the extras where I have my problem. There is a treasure hunt motif to them, with at least two different levels. The booklet does provide clues to get to the second layer, but I keep hearing rumors of a final level I couldn't find, and that's very annoying. What is easily found is nice. There are two deleted scenes and an alternate ending, each with an optional commentary. We get a brief behind the filming documentary and an animated early version of the opening story to give the director an idea how it was supposed to look. Layer two brings an encryption game and two brief documentaries on real life treasure hunters (interesting) and the Knights Templar (mostly useless.) Noticeably missing, at least in the obvious parts of the disc, are such standard features as an audio commentary and the original trailers.
This movie is exactly what it sets out to be, a fun escape. If looked at that way, you'll be entertained.
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
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Viewing Format: DVD
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 9 - 12