Movie Review: National Treasure: Book of Secrets

I had lunch with my dad yesterday and then we went to the movie theater and saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets, starring Nicolas Cage. I had read a review in the local newspaper which gave the movie only 1-1/2 stars, calling it "Dumb fun, emphasis on 'dumb'." We enjoyed the movie, but there were some plot holes big enough to drop Mount Rushmore in. It was kind of like Indiana Jones meets Mission Impossible, with beautiful scenery and nonstop action that was moving so quickly that it was difficult to say, "Hey, wait a minute!" while the movie was going on. Afterwards, in retrospect, there were plenty of things to say that about.

Spoilers follow in white text. Drag your mouse over the white block to read them.

First, after the big car chase scene in London, with multiple crashes and much gunfire, how in the world did they get out of England and back to the U.S. without being detained by the authorities? You have to show identification to get on an airplane, and the cops and Scotland Yard would have been watching the airports and the Chunnel very intently at the customs points. Second, after Gates kidnaps the President at Mount Vernon, and escapes with the Secret Service and the FBI hot on his heels, how do they all make it all the way to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota without being captured? Again, there's no way that they could fly, since they would be at the very tip-top of the FBI's most wanted list. And there are only so many routes going to Mount Rushmore. Gates tells Wilkinson (the movie's villain) that the FBI is on the way, right behind them, as they walk up Mount Rushmore. What, the FBI doesn't have radios and telephones any more to call ahead and capture them? Dumb.

But the movie was beautiful to watch, and fun while it lasted. Worth seeing if you saw the first one and liked it, as long as you have a very strong ability to suspend disbelief, at least temporarily.

Other things: Before the movie, there was a Walt Disney cartoon short featuring Goofy, with a title something like "How to Hook Up Your Home Theater System." It was hilarious. Made in 2007, there were a lot of little retro touches, like when Goofy goes to the Shiny Things big box store to get his electronics. The parking lot is filled with cartoon cars that look like they came straight from the 1950s.

There was also a trailer for the movie Hancock, starring Will Smith, that is scheduled for release on July 2nd. This one really looked funny, with Smith's down-on-his-luck superhero crashing through freeway signs, derailing careening freight trains and hurling a beached whale back out into the ocean -- and knocking over a sailboat in the process.

That trailer may not be representative of the whole movie, but if it is, then it could very well be one of the biggest movies of the summer.