Thursday, December 27, 2007

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This film has been trashed by more than its fair share of critics of late. But you just can not deny that it is fun to watch. If you liked the first film, you will definitely like the second. I had the pleasure of viewing this with my family on Christmas afternoon and it was a great way to end the day.

Just like its predecessor, this film is rooted in history. I put that in italics because it of course pads the truth for the sake of the plot. However, as a guy who loves history, I think that they do quite a good job of drawing people into the field. This (like the DaVinci Code) has lit a fire in people who would otherwise be bored by the subject. The history is accurate enough for my take.

As for the constant conspiracy theories and the like, put me down in the not buying it category. Its either that or the don't care enough about it to worry category. I just don't buy that there are vast hidden conspiracies out there all the time. I know I know, that is what they want me to believe. But I figure that I have enough to worry about without having to worry about what I don't know.

A big plus to me in the film was the character of Riley Poole, played by Justin Bartha. The humor that he constantly added to the film was much needed and provided the main (if not only) humor in the film. Without his character, this movie would not flow well.

Nearly everyone is raving about the must-see portion of the movie... the Goofy short. Disney pulled a Pixar on us and showed a 5-10 minute short film that was quite witty and unexpected. I was quite impressed at how well the animators and writers developed the skit. It was very true to the Goofy namesake, and it was very good.

There were 2 downsides to this movie, and only 1 was correctable. First, the ending was a bit slow paced after such a roller coaster ride of a film. It just did not seem to have the bite that the rest of the script had. The quest for historical significance has been overplayed in many films before (i.e. Troy) and I just didn't buy it. Next, and this is my pet peeve, the security of high international installations was way too easy to bypass. The Buckingham Palace, White House, and Mount Vernon scenes were laughable in that respect. They movies always feature a hacker who can bypass any security. As a computer person, I know that this is not the case. If you are in the oval office and getting into the president's desk (below), the secret service will stop you faster than anything. I can guarantee that.

Overall this movie was fun to watch, not at all realistic, and a great way to relax at the theater. I would definitely recommend it.


III said...

Yes, one of the great lessons of Hollywood is that even the most ingenious security systems can be breached. From the White House (also in X-Men 2) to the underground vault at the Bellagio (Ocean's 11) to the NOC List Room at CIA Headquarters (Mission Impossible), apparently the concept "impenetrable" is a misnomer.

Jordan said...

Well if you are dorky, you can go download software to hack into anything in under 10 seconds!