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National Treasure 2

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

I enjoyed the first one moderately enough, and the second is decent too (though, like most sequels, at best about 80% of the first one).

  • The first bit of the movie that sticks with me: why does Nicholas’ girlfriend get to keep his house when they break up?  That pisses me off.  Also?  Riley implies that their share of the treasure was $5mil each.  That house costs demands way more than a one-time payoff of $5mil.
  • It’s amazing how they manipulate the beginning of the story to set up the same circumstances that made the last movie so entertaining.  To whit: in the first movie, he needed to solve the puzzle to prove his family isn’t crazy; in the second, it’s to prove they aren’t traitors.  In the first, he has to steal the Declaration of Independence; in the second, he has to kidnap the president.  In the first movie, they make him adversarial with Abby through his theft; in the second, it’s their defunct romantic past.  Finally, the first movie has an evil set of treasure hunters; so does the second movie.
  • I love the idea that all these ancient cultures were masters of secret gizmos and sliding rock doors.  Have there ever really been documented structures like these?

The best part is the Book of Secrets itself — the idea that the president has a secret book that helps him know what he needs to run the country.  If you like that idea but were disappointed with the result, I highly recommend the Warren Ellis novel Crooked Little Vein, though its debauched jaunt through America’s hives of scum and villainy challenges even the most jaded reader.

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