I will start by confessing that I liked the first National Treasure. It's a funny romp through early American history to find treasure, what's not to like? I'm nerdy enough to like the references to Ben Franklin sending in letters as a woman to the local newspaper. Anyway, the second one starts with a similar premise, finding treasure will enhance the family name of Nic Cage and Jon Voigt's family. Ed Harris plays another descendant of an early American who passed down a missing page from John Wilkes Booth's diary that shows that Cage's family member helped plan Lincoln's assassination. To disprove this story, Cage and Voigt decide to look for the "City of Gold" which Booth was looking for to fund the Confederacy. Needless to say, he didn't find it, but he didn't have Cage's encyclopedic knowledge of history, nor the fun sidekick. They start on an adventure that leads to the Statue of Liberty in Paris (the smaller one), the Resolute desk in Queen Elizabeth's study, and the Resolute desk in the Oval Office to kidnapping the President at Mount Vernon. Once you acknowledge that they would actually be able to safely break into and out of all these places, it's just fun. Also, I didn't know that you can find secret passages in old furniture - they find a clue in a secret compartment in the desks and in the wine cellar of Mount Vernon. All the previous characters return, but they add Helen Mirren as Cage's mother and Voigt's ex-wife, who is herself an expert in ancient American languages and helps them translate some clues. Since Ed Harris is following them along their entire journey (he really wants the City of Gold), he's a great bad guy trying to ruin their fun, and of course (since it's Disney) ultimately joins their search and helps them search for the City behind Mount Rushmore. Overall, it's a great light-hearted thriller search for lost treasure. Cage has had some amazing hair treatments, and the clothes are better this time around, but overall it's a fun unbelievable movie. 4 of 5 stars for sheer fun-factor.
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