Next up is National Treasure: Book of Secrets. The first incarnation of this sequel received pretty poor reviews and yet I found it entirely entertaining and interesting. When the bad reviews for this one came in I ignored them hoping it was more the same as the first time around.
Sadly, this version takes just about everything from the first movie that was interesting and tosses it out the window. It then provides us with a silly, entirely unbelievable, poorly acted movie with over-the-top, entirely unnecessary special effects. The producers managed to take a Da Vinci Code-like experience and turn it into something closer to Speed (but not even as good).
This started out boring from the word go. It was prefaced by a Disney short featuring Goofy discussing the benefits of a home theater. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. It was overly long and showed, with its lack of laughs, why we haven’t seen Goofy (my favorite Disney character) in some time. I actually felt bad for an animated character (and worse for the people who came up with this). Remember, this is essentially an ad — for a home theater — in an actual movie theater that wants you to keep coming one would assume.
Where the first movie included hard-to-believe plot points, this one just goes way too far past the line into the absurd and, worse, makes it all boring to boot. I want the brain cells back that currently hold the memory of the entire scene that revolves around a large square platform balanced oh so perfectly on a needle-like stone point.
Finally, I hope this will be the last we see of the love interest here played by Diane Kruger. Her accent is entirely distracting and her acting, for me, isn’t much better. The biggest surprise of this movie is that Helen Mirren decided to take part in it. I can’t even begin to imagine what chain of events happened to bring that about. This also seems to be the beginning of the end for Nicolas Cage. We’ve now seen a few of these highly questionable vehicles for him and at this point in his career it’s very unlikely that things are going to get much better. I guess it had to happen sometime but I just didn’t expect it to happen this soon.
So much for great entertainment during the holidays. It used to be that bankable, entertaining holiday films were a lock. Not any longer.