National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the action in this fast-paced adventure sequel is loud and sometimes tense (car chases, near falls from high ledges in a dark cave, etc.), but for the most part it's pretty tame. The most troubling scene comes early, when, in a flashback to 1865, a child sees his father shot and killed; the sequence also includes a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln's assassination (not bloody, but obvious). In the present day, there's some shooting, car crashes, hand-to-hand fighting, and threats made with guns. Expect some cleavage shots, plus innocuous flirting and kissing.
What's the story?
In NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS, history fanatic/inveterate puzzle solver Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) is making his living lecturing on his family's contributions to U.S. legacies. So imagine his horror when another self-proclaimed patriot, Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris), asserts that a Gates ancestor was a "mastermind" in the assassination of Ben's favorite president, Abraham Lincoln. Declaring that he must clear his family's name, Ben takes off on a treasure hunt along with his history-buff dad, Patrick (Jon Voight), ex-girlfriend/archivist, Abigail (Diane Kruger), and sidekick Riley (Justin Bartha).s Ben's mother (Helen Mirren), who hasn't spoken to Patrick for 32 years, joins the team as translator. The treasure hunt takes the crew from Paris to London to Washington, D.C., with each location affording glimpses of historical monuments and occasions for Cage's antics. Soon the hunters are being hunted by FBI agents (led by Harvey Keitel
Is it any good?
It's never a good sign when you can figure out a secret plot before a movie's characters do. Then again, that's not very hard to do when the plot is the same as the first time you saw it. Unfortunately, this sequel adds precious few new ideas to the blueprint established in National Treasure.
As in the first film, Cage is the primary draw, alternately goofy and smirky and always entertaining. Frankly, he's the only cast member who can make the unwieldy expository dialogue seem at all plausible.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the differences between real history and "Hollywood history." Why do you think filmmakers bend the facts so often? Is real history less entertaining than the kind that's manufactured for the movies? Do you think this movie is trying to prompt kids to take an interest in history? Kids: What do you know about the historical sites featured in the film (the White House, Buckingham Palace, and Mount Rushmore)? How could you find out more?