WARNING: Here there be spoilers. And not vague ones, either, but pretty specific. So if you haven’t seen National Treasure 2, consider yourself warned!
Spoilers after the jump (and they’ll probably end up in comments, too)
Was this movie a major disappointment or what? To be honest, I think it was destined to be. National Treasure 1 was so funny and smart and fresh. Most of all, it was a surprise and 2 wasn’t going to have that element.
A few problems in list form before I wade into the perceived plot holes:
* Nicolas Cage looked…weird. Hard to explain, but he looked a little “Dick Clarked”.
* I HATE what they did to the romantic relationship between movies and they didn’t resolve it to my satisfaction.
* Gates came off more as an arrogant, smirky asshole than a charming, quirky smart guy this time.
* Their getting to either of the Resolute desks required an unattainable suspension of belief on my part.
* How many massive subterranean “greatest treasures of mankind” could really go undiscovered in today’s day and age?
Now the two things that really tripped me up to the point I probably won’t watch it again. My husband, who will sometimes point out something I missed to make it all better, fell asleep halfway through, so if you can fill in the plotholes, go for it.
* When Gates and the President came out of the secret tunnel at Mount Vernon: The President trusts him enough to give him the info, sends him to the LoC, then sics the FBI and Secret Service on him only to, in the end, explain that he and Gates were exploring and the door closed behind them. Why didn’t he say that from the start? To add a pursuit? The drama of lights and sirens? False stakes? It was so contrived and annoyed the hell out of me.
* How did the discovery of the City of Gold automatically exclude Thomas Gates as a conspirator? Here’s another theory: Thomas Gates was the architect of the Lincoln assassination and he ripped the page out of the Booth diary not to protect the Union, but to keep the gold all to himself. There were two separate goals stemming from the same diary—the finding of the city and the clearing of the ancestor’s name—and they kind of bundled them together.
I went into National Treasure 2 with the same expectation as I went into The Dark Knight—they wouldn’t be quite as good as the first ones because the element of surprising the audience with awesomeness is gone. There’s an expectation of awesomeness already and that’s hard to live up to.
Hopefully the National Treasure team won’t succumb to trilogyitis (as did PotC and Matrix, to their detriment). I’ll just be over here rewatching National Treasure 1 again and again while 2 collects dust on the shelf.