Wednesday, 16 May 2012
National Treasure (2004); National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
The Library of Congress is visited by cinema's Tasmanian Devil in the first National Treasure because he wants to do research on how to steal the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives. In the sequel, he breaks into the Library so that he can read 'The President's Secret Book.' In a Purloined Letter style trick, the book in which successive Presidents write state secrets about aliens, assassinations, being Muslim... that kind of stuff, is stored in one of the rooms overlooking the library's Round Reading Room. Never mind that POTUS would look a little conspicuous perched up there reading about how Elvis is running black-ops CIA missions in North Korea. As this globetrotting film is held together by little more than its action set-pieces, we needn't worry that hiding a book in a library makes about as much sense as a Dan Brown plot.
blogged that 'the film has the potential to redefine the Library of Congress in the eye of movie-goers, much the same as the iconic shot from the dome of the Main Reading Room did for previous generations in "All the President's Men"'. Alas, the National Treasure films are nothing like All the President's Men. They are derivative and joyless, as hyperactive and intellectually stimulating as a game of Snap.