We first met Ben Gates in “National Treasure,” when pursuit of treasure led him on a hunt using historical artifacts, including the Declaration of Independence, as clues. In the sequel “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets,” Ben is presented with another historically based mystery.
Eighteen pages are missing from John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Ben and his father both believe those pages will lead to a treasure, based on the stories told by one of their ancestors who was asked to translate the code within the diary. However, a man shows up who claims to have one of the missing pages, and he says that page proves the Gates’ ancestor was actually involved in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Feeling his family’s honor is at stake, Ben sets out on a quest to find out the truth—was his ancestor a traitor to his country?
With clues gathered from the French Statue of Liberty and the Resolute Desks in both Buckingham Palace and the White House, Ben realizes they are in search of El Dorado, the fabled City of Gold. With the help of his mother, an expert in ancient languages, he is able to determine that the city is buried behind Mount Rushmore.
I love how both the first movie and this sequel give us history lessons while tweaking actual history a bit. We learn a lot about the artifacts and their origins while at the same time investigating the theories and the myths that surround them. I also appreciate how we’re given an exciting thrill ride without the language and sex we find in other films.
This movie is great for adventure seekers young and old. I probably wouldn’t recommend it for a viewer younger than ten, as it does contain an intense car chase and an Indiana Jones-like climax, but after the age of ten, I’d say you’re good to go.
This film is rated PG.
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