National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

 
(i)

 

Action-packed treasure hunt is age-appropriate but so-so.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 124 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hacking into official computer systems, breaking laws, and, in one instance, kidnapping the president. Bad guys trick good guys into finding treasure, then threaten them and use violence.

Violence

Frequent raucous action-adventure-style scenes, including car chases (banging, crashing, screeching), shooting, and fighting. There's a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, but the gunshot to his head isn't particularly graphic. In a flashback scene, a young boy sees his father shot and killed. A man is knocked out in his home. Ben struggles against being taken into custody by British police. Tense teetering and near falls from precarious surfaces inside a cave; rush of water nearly drowns people trapped in the cave.

Sex

Some romantic, chaste kissing between the main couple. A couple of scenes feature brief shots of women's cleavage. In one flirtatious scene, Abigail shows off her tight dress and cleavage in order to distract a man; she kisses him passionately, then dismisses him.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Borders Books, Ferrari, iPod, Mac laptops, Mercedes SUV.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few scenes set at bars, restaurants, or parties include background drinking. Emily suggests that her brief marriage to Patrick started with a drunken encounter.

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?

QUALITY
 

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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 20, 2007
DVD release date:May 19, 2008
Cast:Diane Kruger, Harvey Keitel, Nicolas Cage
Director:Jon Turteltaub
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Adventures, History
Run time:124 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some violence and action.

This review of National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written bySinfoniarc September 24, 2011
 

Great Family Movie!

As a parent in his early 30s of children who are ages 8 & 10, this movie reminds me much of The Goonies...without all of the bad language. While the movie is fiction, there are historical elements to the movie that are neat to hear about and can be used as educational tools for your children. For example, the opening scene is a dramatic re-enactment of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Relax...there's no blood or gore associated with it. Most kids will be familiar with the story, but few will know many details about it. On a social level, the movie deals with stuff that some kids will be able to relate to and others won't. For example, Ben Gates' parents are divorced and not necessarily fond of each other but somehow grow closer once again throughout the adventure in the movie. Ben and his girlfriend have lived together and are now broken up. There is a scene in which they're discussing who will take possession of some mutual property. Nothing is detailed throughout it, but your kids may pick up on it. The rest of the movie is action-packed without showing gore or much violence (especially by comparison to the first movie). Ed Harris is a great bad guy as always, who shows a good side in the end. As usual, Disney did a superb job with the HD rendering and the surround sound is great as well.
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 11 year old Written byBenito36 July 23, 2010
 
I started watching the movie and really liked it however they use God's name in vain which is worse than cussing. B/c of that I cannot recommend the movie.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old August 22, 2012
 

Nice Family Movie but...

There is some stuff you should know, Mitch dies, a cheesy kissing scene to create a distraction, the guys in the movie are flirts, Ben kidnapped the president, you find out Ben and Abigail have been living together without marriage (but not anymore because of a fight), and lots of struggling to try to get out of a enclosed room that is filling up with water. I would say it is good for 8 year olds who are aren't so sensitive. But this movie will have you at the end of your seats!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism

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