Friday, November 21, 2008

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

"A Rush of Non-Stop Action!" - Lou Lumenic, New York Post

The film start five days after the end of the Civil War. When a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth surfaces, Bens great-great grand father is suddenly implicated as a key conspirator in Abraham Lincolns death. Determined to prove his ancestors innocence, Ben follows an international chain of clues that takes him ancestor’s innocence, Ben follows an international chain of clues that takes him on a chase from Paris to London and ultimately back to America. This journey leads Ben and his crew not only to surprising revelations - but to the trail of the world’s most treasured secrets.

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

My rate &
* * * *
Its all like puzzle even not so much like the first.
Just more action. Entertaining :)
Directed by
Jon Turteltaub
Produced by
Jon Turteltaub
Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by
Story: Gregory Poirier,
Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott
Marianne Wibberley & Cormac Wibberley
Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha,
Diane Kruger, Jon Voight,
Helen Mirren, Ed Harris
Distributed by
Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s)
December 21, 2007
Running time
125 min.
Gross revenue$457,363,168

Five days after the end of the Civil War, John Wilkes Booth and Michael O'Laughlen, both members of the KGC, enter a tavern and approach Thomas Gates (Ben Gates' great-great-grandfather). They produce a diary containing an encrypted message, and entice Thomas, a well-known puzzle solver, to decode it. Thomas recognizes the message as using the Playfair cipher and begins to translate it. While he does so, Booth leaves for Ford's Theatre to assassinate President Lincoln. Thomas solves the puzzle, a clue to a treasure map, and realizes the men are still loyal to the Confederate cause and have a sinister motive for finding the treasure. Unfortunately, he realizes this too late. O'Laughlen pulls a gun on him, threatening to shoot him if he does not hand over the diary, however he is distracted from Thomas when chaos erupts in the bar over news of Lincoln's assassination. Thomas rips several pages from the diary and throws them in the fireplace. The gunman shoots him and attempts to retrieve the pages, only succeeding in saving a fragment of a page. The dying Thomas gasps, "The war is over," but the man disagrees, stating, "You're wrong about that, the war has only just begun," and rushes from the bar. As he lies dying, Thomas tells his distraught son, Charles Gates, "The debt that all men pay…"

Over 140 years later, Ben Gates is telling his great-great-grandfather's story at a conference on Civilian Heroes to great acclaim until black market dealer Mitch Wilkinson shows one of the 18 missing pages of John Wilkes Booth's diary, with Thomas Gates' name on it, convincing everyone that Thomas was not only a conspirator, but the grand architect of the Lincoln assassination. Ben sets out to prove the innocence of his great-great-grandfather.

Using spectral imaging, Ben discovers a cipher pointing to Édouard Laboulaye hidden on the back of the diary page. He travels to Paris, where he finds a cryptic clue engraved on the torch of the scale model of the Statue of Liberty on the Île des Cygnes in Paris, referring to the two Resolute desks. Ben heads to Buckingham Palace, seeking out the closer of the two desks. With the help of his friend Riley Poole and estranged girlfriend, Abigail Chase, he is able to sneak into the Queen's office to find an ancient wooden plank hidden in the desk. He is then pursued by Wilkinson, who, having broken into his father Patrick Gates' house, has cloned Patrick's cell phone in order to track Ben's whereabouts. Wilkinson eventually obtains the piece, but not before Ben manages to photograph the symbols carved into the plank.

At Ben's insistence, Patrick reluctantly asks his ex-wife, Dr. Emily Appleton, a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, for help in translating the mysterious glyphs. She does so, but points out that some of the glyphs are partial, leading Ben to conclude another plank must be hidden in the other Resolute desk, which is located in the Oval Office. With the unknowing help of Abigail's new love interest, who works for the White House, Ben and Abigail coax their way into the office to see the desk, where Ben discovers that the second plank is missing. However, he does find a stamp bearing the seal of the Book of Secrets. According to Riley, the Book of Secrets contains documents collected by Presidents for Presidents' eyes only, covering such controversial subjects as the JFK assassination, Watergate, and Area 51.

To find the location of the book, Ben manipulates the President's staff into moving his birthday party to Mount Vernon by booking all of the other approved locations. When Ben sneaks into the party, he convinces the President to follow him into a secret tunnel under the House where he confronts him about the book; the President sympathetically warns Ben that his actions will be interpreted as an attempt to kidnap the President, confirming a conclusion Ben and his companions have already reached; Ben is now wanted for committing a federal offense. Appealing to the President's well-known love for history, Ben convinces the President to reveal the location of the book (which turns out to be in the Library of Congress). The President also tells him to read page 47 as well as the information he needs. In the book, Ben finds a picture of the missing plank from the desk and an entry by President Coolidge, who found it in 1924, had it destroyed, and comissioned Gutzon Borglum to carve Mount Rushmore to erase the map's landmarks in order to protect the treasure.

At Mount Rushmore, Ben, Riley, Abigail, and Patrick meet Mitch, who has kidnapped Ben's mother. Mitch provides a clue to the entrance of a cave containing the legendary native American city of gold, Cíbola. Despite several traps they manage to find the city, but rising flood waters force them to leave. In the last room before the exit, a mechanism requires one person to stay behind while the others could leave. Mitch forces everyone to let him go first by threatening to kill Abigail with a knife, and a terrified Ben agrees to stay behind. However, rising water forces Mitch to be the last person left. Ben tries to help him out, but Mitch cannot come to Ben without the door closing.

Mitch decides to sacrifice himself and allow the others to escape the flooding cavern, and Ben agrees to give him credit for finding the treasure. Ben clears his family's name with the discovery and is cleared of all charges when the President tells everyone that Ben saved his life after the door to the tunnel closed accidentally. Ben also ensures Mitch receives joint credit for the find. The President then asks Ben about what he read on page 47 of the Book of Secrets, to which Ben states that it is "life altering".

Source: Wiki