BOTTOM LINE: It's a whole lot of fun, family-friendly and entertaining, but it's ridiculous and over the top to the point of being ludicrous.
THE GOOD: Much like the first film, “National Treasure 2" is just plain fun. Inspired by the style of the Indiana Jones series, these films follow treasure hunters who search for clues to exotic treasures hidden in our world. In this film, it's a ‘City of Gold’ which people have been searching for centuries. We start five days after the civil war, and it turns out the Confederates wanted to desperately get their hands on the city of gold to make one last ditch effort to win. But they fail. Enter Nicholas Cage, the great grandson of a man who witnessed the incidents during the Civil War, who wants to clear the name of his great grandfather after evidence emerges that he had a hand in the assassination of President Lincoln, a claim made by bad guy Wilkinson played by Ed Harris. On his quest to save his great grandfather's name, Nic goes on a treasure hunt assisted by his cohorts which involves the long lost search for the City of Gold. It's great fun because it's filled with puzzle-solving, ancient artefacts, mystery and intrigue, suspense by those who want to thwart the good guys, and brings in the idea of the “President's Book" (hence the title); a diary which contains every secret that every US President has ever discovered and kept from the public. There's a lot of great sequences, good humour and some very likeable characters (yes, even Nic Cage), not to mention an absolute stellar cast who are obviously having a lot of fun. It's also enjoyable to watch two Academy Award winners in Jon Voight and Helen Mirren swinging around in an adventure, popcorn film like this. The film never really lets up, never tiring and will keep an audience entertained throughout its 2-hour running time. The film is also very family friendly, never really becoming dark unlike territory covered in the Indiana Jones films for example.
THE BAD: The problem is. . . it's just not believable in many places. Here's an example; Nicholas Cage breaks in to a Presidential function, talks his way past Secret Service agents, ‘bumps’ in to the President, the President recognises him, they strike up an unlikely conversation leading the President to trust him to investigate an underground tunnel at the function site, the President tells his Secret Service agents to stay back while they investigate, leaving the two of them alone, AND the Secret Service allow it to happen. If you can get over a thing like that, then the film will be a fun ride for you. If not, you'll probably be laughing you're head off throughout the entire film. This example is probably the worst breach of plot-sense, but there are plenty of others including how easily Nicholas Cage and his cohorts manage to get in to top-security places such as the restricted areas of the Library of Congress, Buckingham Palace and even the Oval Office.
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Todd Murphy is a staff reviewer at the film/DVD review web site, All About Movies.net - for all the latest reviews on the newest releases. He also contributes reviews and articles for the Digicosm Film Blog: http://www.filmannex.com/Digicosm