Book of Secrets on DVD

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets on DVD. On the same weekend the latest Indiana Jones chronicle was released in theatres, I decided to watch that more contemporary treasure hunter, Benjamin Franklin Gates (actually, I didn’t “decide” per se. It’s more like my name finally reached the top of the hold list at the library). It was also a coincidence that there is a Civil War connection in the movie as I watched it Memorial Day weekend, the holiday created initially to honor Union veterans who died in that conflict. I am not a big fan of Nicolas Cage, but he does better in action movies, and I did enjoy the first entry in this series.

In this episode, Gates is reunited with his security-hacking expert Riley Poole, his National Archives curator girlfriend Abigail Chase, and his father (Jon Voight) in an effort to clear his family name when one of his ancestors is mentioned in John Wilkes Booth’s diary as a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination. And there’s also the little matter of a golden treasure that Booth was supposed to find for a secret society supporting the Confederacy and is now being sought by a band of mercenaries led by the excellent Ed Harris. These types of movies definitely require audiences to suspend their normal beliefs, especially when Gates and his crew break into two of the most highly secure buildings in the world. Still, they are enjoyable adventures with bits of historical trivia and a few laughs as well. I especially liked the scenes at the Library of Congress, since I was once privileged to get a behind-the-scenes tour there myself.

The DVD from Disney contains previews which are irritatingly too numerous and lengthy and doesn’t contain any bonus features except audio commentary from the director and Voight. One bit of movie trivia: although the film used several historic locations for filming, the reenactment of Lincoln’s assassination was not done at Ford’s Theatre, but at Richmond Theatre in Surrey, England.


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