Tuesday 18th January 2022

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG)
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

One of the problems I have as a film reviewer is that my opinion of films changes over time. Some films stay with you for days, some for weeks and some for months after you have seen them. Some are memorable, some are not. Some make you think, some don't and some films improve with multiple viewings. But in the crazy world of release schedules and publishing deadlines, time is a luxury reviewers can't afford.

"I'm not sure what it is - it came with my hairpiece"
"I'm not sure what it is - it came with my hairpiece"

However, I was fortunate enough to see the sequel to 2004's National Treasure several weeks ago, so I can offer you a different perspective from normal. I remember when I came out of the cinema, I was distinctly whelmed. I was neither overwhelmed, nor under whelmed, but rather I had just seen a film that in every way met my expectations. I expected this sequel to be a lot like the first National Treasure film, but slightly worse. And I was right.

At this point in time, I can't even remember the plot, let alone tell you what the titular "Book of Secrets" is, without looking it up. So I think it's safe to say that this film is not memorable in the slightest – which is a shame, because I can remember a lot of details about the first film.

The story (it says here) involves the discovery of missing pages from the diary of John Wilkes Booth, pages that implicate Thomas Gates in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Of course, it falls to Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) to rampage around the world, breaking rules and doing unspeakable things to national treasures in order to prove the innocence of his great, great grandfather.

So, it's exciting stuff while it happens, if more than a little improbable. The cast is strong, with Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger and Jon Voight returning, as well as new additions in the form of Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel and Ed Harris. Let's just assume they all needed the money.

However, I am left with the overall impression that this is an average adventure film that is more forgettable than it is anything else. It's not a bad way to waste a couple of hours, but I'm sure if you if you think hard enough, you can find something to do that you'll actually remember in several weeks time.

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Length: 124 minutes
Certificate: PG
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 8th February 2008

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