Every time I see Nicolas Cage, the first thing I think is, "He was engaged to a girl I went to junior high school with?!?!" (Her name was Kristen Zang, and she left Michigan to become a model in LA.) The second thing I think is, "What in the hell is up with his hair?" The third thought is, "He should be punished for naming his kid Kal-El." And lastly, I wonder, "Is his wife like 19 years old, and does she even speak English?" Seriously, this woman does not talk, it is freaky. She is just always seen standing next to him, smiling... like she's being forced to do so. He's kind of a shady dude, when you think about it.
But that didn't stop me from watching National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. I am all about conspiracy theories and hidden symbols and treasure maps and all of that kind of stuff, and I liked the first movie, so I knew I would enjoy the sequel. And I did. It wasn't outstanding, but it was just what I expected.
The premise this time around was kind of weak, though. Cage, once again playing the modern-day Indiana Jones-ish Ben Gates, is desperate to clear his great-great-great-great-great-great-great Grandpa's name, after new evidence comes to light that he might have been involved in Lincoln's assassination. OK, so it was really just his great-great-grandfather... but my point is that what transpires in the movie seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through to clear one's family name, but I guess maybe I'm simply not that noble. I just can't believe there wouldn't have been an easier way to go about proving that the Gates family has always been comprised of a bunch of upstanding citizens, than to start flying around the world solving random cryptic puzzles hidden in famous statues and artifacts.
But anyway, for reasons I no longer remember, if Gates and his band of merry adventurers (made up of his way-too-good-looking-for-him ex-girlfriend, some computer geek who can magically hack into ANYWHERE, and his dad, who is much too old to be running around searching for hidden treasures) can find some long lost City of Gold, that will prove great-great-Grandpa's innocence. But to find the loot, they need the Book of Secrets, which is a book that is passed from President to President, which includes basically everything any conspiracy theorist ever wanted to know the truth about... like Area 51, the Kennedy assassination, etc., etc.
As I said before, I believe in all of this kind of stuff, and I do honestly think there's some sort of book like that in existence in the United States. The information in it may be a little bit more boring, but priceless nonetheless. So the idea of that kind of book and all of the cool things the group was able to find because of it more than made up for the lame "wronged ancestor" premise.
If you liked the first movie, you'll like this one, too. The trailer is below in case you're interested.
What I was disappointed about, however, is that we got no enlightenment as to how in the world Nicolas Cage keeps his hair in that weird mini bouffant 'do he's been sporting for years. He should just shave his head already, seriously. Maybe in National Treasure 3 they will realize that there is a secret map contained within a birthmark on his scalp and they can use that as an excuse to make him finally go bald. It could happen!