National Treasure: Book of Secrets is the sequel to Disney’s commercially successful original National Treasure film of 2004. When released back in 2007 Book of Secrets claimed the number one spot at the American box office and became a commercial success worldwide, and yes, plans for a third film are in place. So is this sequel actually any good?

Book of Secrets is an adventure mystery film that once again follows treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates. This time, Gates looks to discover the truth behind the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, by uncovering the mystery within the missing 18 pages from the diary of assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Justin Bartha injects some fantastic comedy into the film.

Disney pulled together a fantastic cast for the National Treasure franchise, particularly in Book of Secrets. A supporting cast of Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren and Bruce Greenwood are led by the inconsistent, for want of a better word, Nicolas Cage who plays the smart adventurer Benjamin Franklin Gates. In my opinion Jutin Bartha as Riley Poole, Gates’ colleague and friend steals the show with a fantastic performance; he provides great comic relief and offers up plenty of laughs for the audience, a great shift from Bartha.

Book of Secrets is a family friendly film, aimed at children primarily but there is plenty there for the older viewers to enjoy as well. We follow Nicolas Cage on a journey that stretches across Europe and America connecting clues to solve their mystery. Whilst there is a lot to enjoy and keep the audience’s attention I do think that Book of Secrets lacks in story depth and character development which is pretty disappointing. It is very clearly defined which characters are good and which are evil but they are given no time to develop and instead the emphasis is on moving the action forward, which of course is not always a bad thing, but the loose strings holding the action together are sometimes too ridiculous to believe even for this film.

The action scenes are really enjoyable though and there will be things that you will laugh at, whatever your sense of humour may be suited to. The final action scene taking place inside Mount Rushmore is a very good climatic scene and to be honest, parts of the film show real intelligence in film making and writing. Something I did actually hate though, were the horrible cockney accents we were subjected during the Buckingham Palace scene.

As Book of Secrets was a hit it should come as no surprise that there is a sequel being planned at the minute. And the ending of the film leaves it open with the mystery surrounding ‘Page 47’ being mentioned. I would welcome a third film of the franchise. National Treasure: Book of Secrets lacks depth but it excels in fun and is a great film to watch when you just want to be entertained.

My Rating: 6/10

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