Thursday, December 27, 2007

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Before the movie there was a Disney short starring Goofy. In the short he tries to purchase and install a home theatre system. There were numerous laughs in this short. It had a lot of "old-school" type jokes...the football players as thieves, the binoculars to watch a television 3 feet away...and some new stuff. I think the biggest single laugh was the "consumer friendly packaging for the cables" which as the voice-over describes it, Goofy is struggling to open with a sledgehammer...more or less unsuccessfully. The skewering of overdone home theatres, masses of wires, armies of remotes, oversize televisions, and "feeling like you are in the game" spiels was awesome. This short, in and of itself, was worth the price of admission.

There are multiple ways to view any particular movie. For example, a person with a keen interest in history such as myself my snort with derisive laughter at the outlandish, ridiculous claim that "Custer's Last Stand" was a treasure hunting expedition gone wrong having to do with the Black Hills in order to protect the fabled City of Gold.

Or you can recognize a "popcorn" flick full of action, adventure, and good times. I prefer to do the latter and ignore some of the more over the top references in National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007). It is famously the first time Cage has done a sequel. He picked a fun franchise.

Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) is presenting a paper on his distant Grandfather when Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris) interrupts with a document alleging that Gates was a co-conspirator in the Lincoln assassination. Desperate to prove his belief in family integrity is correct, Gates and his father Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) join forces. Aided by Library of Congress curator Abigail Chase (Diane Krueger) and wise-cracking electronics ace Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) they go hither, thither and yon following clues to find out what Gates was protecting when he died. They are pursued bu Wilkinson and gun-wielding henchman. Ultimately they follow the clues to discover the lost city with numerous chases, traps, and puzzles along the way.

The movie is chock full of ridiculous plot how 3 or 4 vehicles can be stolen, ram dozens of other vehicles and yet not one cop is ever seen nor are there repercussions for the perpetrators...or why Wilkinson would feel compelled to fire on the Gates crew. That made no sense at all.

But it was a fun movie. This is a time to ignore ridiculous plot holes, outlandish escapades and obscenely bizarre puzzles. Just relax, enjoy the ride, chuckle at the one-liners and let the good times roll.

Oh, and...this was my 50th movie this year. That is kind of sad...

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