Shannon Stacey

National Treasure 2—with spoilers

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.

6 comments to “National Treasure 2—with spoilers”

  1. Annmarie
      · August 8th, 2008 at 9:15 am · Link

    I loved 1 and never bothered with 2 because of the whole puhlease factor I got from the promo’s. Puhlease. TWO massive treasures hidden underground?

  2. Melani Blazer
      · August 8th, 2008 at 9:28 am · Link

    I too, was disappointed. Kinda reminded me of Transporter 2. It was a cartoon in disguise because of the “they’re ain’t no way in hell that’s gonna really happen ” factor.

    My thought on the whole “another major hidden treasure” part? If there really could be, I think the search is more exciting than the “find”… there just didn’t seem to be as much mystery to locating this treasure. In the first one, we ALL knew they’d find it, the title said so, but there were so many “almost lost it” moments, glitches and issues, that it gave the plot some credence, substance and we had to keep watching to see if by some chance in hell it could happen. (our safety net being the same as in a romance novel, we know we’ll get it, but….how? when? at what cost?)

    Enough of my babble. But I, too, was disappointed overall. It had some moments, but certainly nothing like the first one.

    (By the way, POTC3 was MADE in the little ditty after the credits…. :heart: )

  3. Alison Kent
      · August 8th, 2008 at 10:46 am · Link

    My worst problem with the movie was the lack of an antagonist, because Ed Harris did not work for me. Not once did I feel any threat, as I did with Sean Bean.

  4. Michelle (MG)
      · August 8th, 2008 at 1:48 pm · Link

    NOW, I remember. I felt the same way about why didn’t the President just tell his crew that in the beginning. Completely agree – contrived for the chase. :roll:

    My favourite part of the movie was his mom and dad getting back together. LOL I remember really liking that.

  5. Emma Wayne Porter
      · August 8th, 2008 at 4:09 pm · Link

    Disney has a tradition of happy accidents, as was the case with this film and Pirates.

    In both cases, they started with a small seed of an idea (In NT’s case, all they had was the idea that someone steals the DOI, and the rest snowballed from there. Pirates had the game.) and they get really lucky with a mega hit.

    When it comes to sequels, their lovely organic process fails spectacularly. Probably because they over-doctor and under-analyze the sequel scripts.

    And yes, if they pull Nick’s face any tighter and screw with his hairline any more, he’ll be Chewbacca soon

  6. Pearl
      · August 11th, 2008 at 8:48 am · Link

    I agree with all your comments and want to add that Nicolas Cage’s hair kept bothering me so much throughout the movie it was really distracting.

    I don’t know why I keep watching sequels! They really don’t live up.
    And I’m sure if there would be a NT3 I’m not watching it!

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