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National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Year: 2007
Production Co: Jery Bruckheimer Films
Studio: Disney
Director: Jon Turtletaub
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer/Jon Turtletaub
Writer: Terry Rosso/The Wibberleys
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Ed Harris, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Bruce Greenwood, Harvey Keitel
If the city made of gold buried underneath South Dakota's Mount Rushmore, the booby trapped platform teetering on a slender pedestal or a chase through the streets of London with a truck carrying beer kegs don't convince you National Treasure's a complete fantasy, adventurer Ben Gates' (Cage) appeal to the better nature of the US President (Bruce Greenwood) will when he says 'I believe you're an honourable man, sir'.

It's a small slice of the yearning for a more innocent era when American men really were as tough and rugged as the Marlboro Man, where a boys-own adventure awaited the brave around every corner and the US President was an honourable man instead of an oil-hungry, war-mongering idiot.

If you can filter out the American jingoism in National Treasure; Book of Secrets, it's actually an entertaining adventure yarn that moves too fast to let the silliness show through the cracks. Like a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, it would benefit from a quick viewing of the original on DVD first to remind you who everyone is.

We catch up with two generations of Gates - professional swashbuckler father and son Cage and Voight - when it comes to light a relative of theirs was instrumental in Abraham Lincoln's 1865 assassination. Determined to clear the family name, Ben teams up with former flame Abby (Kruger), comic relief sidekick Riley and his estranged parents Voight and Helen Mirren on the trail of another historical icon.

When their only clue sets the group on the path to discovering an ancient lost city made of gold, the chase is on, from retrieving plaques covered in native American writing from the Queen of England's desk to a book handed down from one US President to another containing the nation's dirty laundry.

It's a high concept cross between Indiana Jones and the Da Vinci Code, and with a few laughs and old fashioned thrills, it's mental off-switch stuff, but you can do worse these holidays.

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