National Treasure: Book Of Secrets

I haven’t seen the original, but the absurd high-concept of this sequel appears to be quite similar: it’s a Disney romp with several stars (Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, and Harvey Keitel from the first movie, plus Ed Harris and Helen Mirren) appearing in and around various international monuments as they pursue a centuries-old treasure with arcane clues and sliding panels. All this climaxes in an underground city of gold out of H. Rider Haggard, located close to Mount Rushmore. Leave it to coproducer Jerry Bruckheimer to revive the Indiana Jones cycle without the period setting, the camp elements, or Spielberg’s efficiency; director Jon Turteltaub just plods along, and the script by Marianne and Cormac Wibberley is equally poker-faced. With Justin Bartha and Bruce Greenwood, the latter playing the U.S. president. PG, 124 min. (JR)

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