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Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
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National Treasure sequel is dumb and predictable fun
National Treasure sequel is dumb and predictable fun
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS NOW PLAYING

I loved the first film, National Treasure (which I saw on television after the "private screening" at my ex and daughter's place went belly-up following a little dust up between the three of us about a year ago), and after the original's silly conspiracy theories hooked me, I eagerly looked forward to number two, Book of Secrets. This is the obvious sequel, with the same set of characters and a few new ones (Ed Harris plays the "bad guy," and Helen Mirren is dad Jon Voight's prickly ex). Did I like this new one? Yes, even as I found myself thinking, "OK, now this will happen, and now this, and now this," because the sequel is that predictable. Still, it's a helluva lot of fun, too.

This time, our hero Nick Cage, his dad, and his sidekick (Justin Bartha), are out to clear an ancestor's name and prove their great-great-great-grandfather wasn't involved in the shooting of Abraham Lincoln. Ed Harris' character is out to prove he did, so his family looks even better. Thus another treasure hunt for obscure clues and artifacts is on, and this time it leads all the way to the White House and the current president (which the filmmakers didn't even try to make us believe was George Bush, something I found refreshing and curious).

The president (played by smart Bruce Greenwood - one can imagine the filmmakers thinking, "let's make him a Democrat, or at least make him seem like he could be and thus give our audiences a taste of yet another conspiracy theory") is kidnapped, and made to reveal the location of the Book of Secrets, the book that names names and supposedly has proof to make the "theories" true, and which has the clue that'll lead the team to a hidden treasure and proof their ancestor didn't plot to kill president Lincoln way back when.

A bit too much of a "movie of the week," but still, there are some great action scenes in a rapidly collapsing cave, and the whole chase thing by Ed Harris and his goons, who are trying to get to the treasure first. Not the best sequel ever, but still perfect for a holiday movie and totally an antidote to any bad vibes you might be having from visiting with folks you don't like the rest of the year, but have to spend time with this time of the year.

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