My wife Pam and I had a much-needed "date night" last night, and we had a terrific time. We went to see "National Treasure: Book of Secrets", followed by dinner at Cafe Mangu (see my wife's restaurant review from a couple of months ago here), and a visit to Barnes and Noble, as we are both book addicts.
It was Pam's choice to see this particular movie, and I was pleased with her selection. I like action movies, especially when there isn't too much thinking involved. This provides a nice escape for a couple of hours.
This film is fast-paced and there are very few lags. I feel that they did an excellent job of moving the plot along quite nicely. I will do my best not to reveal too much here in my review. Rather, I will give you some good basic impressions that I was left with afterwards.
Nicolas Cage revives his role as Ben Gates, and he looked healthier than I have seen him look in awhile. Maybe he has been working out or drinking more water? Maybe he has had some parts that required him to look pale? Diane Kruger, the lovely blond who plays the female lead (Abigail Chase), was a little distracting to me for the wrong reasons: it was obvious to me that she was cloaking an accent of some sort; often, when she was speaking, I was trying to figure out whether she was French or Russian. I looked it up, and she was born in Germany, then lived in London and in Paris, which explained a lot.
As for the dynamic between Cage and Jon Voight, who plays Cage's father, the screenwriters clearly borrowed heavily from the Harrison Ford/Sean Connery relationship in the 1989 "Indiana Jones" movie. In fact, there were other elements that were pretty derivative of that film, but since it has been 19 years, I suppose that is forgivable. On a side note, there is a brand-new Indiana Jones adventure due out sometime this year. I, for one, will likely be in attendance.
As for the supporting cast, Justin Bartha, who plays Gates' assistant Riley Poole, is highly likeable and he provides much of the comic relief. Helen Mirren portrays Gates' mother, and Pam and I discussed how amazing Ms. Mirren still looks (she's 62 now – I looked it up). There is a sub-story with Jon Voight and Mirren as his long-estranged wife that is truly charming. Ed Harris plays the bad guy this time around, and he puts in a solid effort.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this movie, if you are looking for a fun action movie with very little offensive content (rated "PG"). You must suspend your disbelief in order to truly enjoy this one, but it is well worth the price of a ticket. Give it a shot if you have some free time!
Copyright 2008 Austin Homes