(Review originally written at 5 July 2008)

I've seen the first movie "National Treasure" but I basically remember nothing about at it, so it really didn't made a lasting impression. I'm sure that in a couple of months from now I will have forgotten all about this movie as well, since its entertaining and all but also all pretty forgettable.

The movie serves its purpose to entertain and you'll probably won't be bored while watching this movie but the movie also really isn't anything to spectacular. Both 'National Treasure' movies were expense blockbuster, of well over $100.000.000 (this movie actually cost about $130,000,000), which sort of makes me wonder what all that money gets spend on these days. 10 years ago every $100.000.000 would had easily been amongst the top 10 of most expensive movies ever made, now days $100.000.000 will only give you movies such as "National Treasure: Book of Secrets". It really doesn't look or feel as an over $100.000.000 production.

For that amount of money some more fireworks could be expected. Basically "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" doesn't feature anything big or exceptional, which we haven't seen in any other movies before. The first movie was basically more or less a simpler version of "The Da Vinci Code", while this movie tends to lean more toward the Indiana Jones movies, with a sniff of James Bond to it. So seriously nothing too original or new here, which is of course mostly due to the movie its script and storytelling.

The script is simple, though yet of course not very likely. Sure, it's fun to treasure hunt and look for clues all over the world, on famous landmarks but not when basically every 5 minutes the movie is set at a different location (probaly also partly explains the movie its high budget) and we're looking for a new and different clue. This is just the kind of storytelling that does not ever work out very well. Basically the movie tries to achieve too much and a too short amount of time.

But no, I wouldn't call this movie horrible or anything. It's still professionally made, though not with a lot of imagination. Perhaps it's time for Jon Turteltaub to pass on the directing honers to a new and different director for the third movie of the series, which is currently in its early production stages. It also obviously wouldn't hurt to hunt down a better script this time. But oh well, I at least I wasn't bored while watching this movie and therefor I can't really regard this movie as a weak one, since it obviously served its purpose to bring entertainment.

Nicolas Cage seems to enjoy his role in these movies, which shows on the screen and he is well cast in his role. His acting is right for the part, though probably not a lot of people will agree with this, or at least they won't admit that they do. Most of the characters and actors from the first movie return again in this one (Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight), which is probably due to the fun it must be to make these sort of movies or perhaps just because of the fat paychecks. It also explains why actors such as Helen Mirren, Ed Harris and Harvey Keitel appeared in this sequel. They are just not the type of actors to normally appear in a big summer blockbuster. Nevertheless they of course are a welcome addition, though their characters aren't the most interesting ones and some roles even feel a bit redundant for the overall movie.

Nothing too remarkable, just some decent entertainment.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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