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National Treasure: Book of Secrets

 

Release Date: December 21, 2007

MPAA rating: PG for some violence and action

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel, Justin Bartha

Recommended age: 10+

Overall PTC Traffic Light Rating: Yellow

 

 

 

Sex

Abigail flirts with Connor to gain access to the Oval Office, and gives him a long kiss to distract him while Ben searches for clues. 

Violence

Mayhem, peril, car chases, destruction of property, gun shots exchanged (though nobody is hit), Mitch punches Ben and Riley,  Mitch holds a knife to Abigail’s throat threateningly, but releases her, Mitch sacrifices his life (implied) to save the others.

Language

None

Behavior

Ben and Riley break into the house he used to share with his ex-girlfriend; break into Buckingham palace to steal a clue, kidnaps the President of the United States to get information about the book of secrets.

 

A missing page from John Wilkes Booth’s diary seems to link Benjamin Franklin Gates’ great- grandfather to a plot to assassinate President Lincoln.  Ben sets out on a journey to clear his family’s name, all while trying to keep one step ahead of Mitch Wilkinson, a treasure hunter in search of the legendary City of Gold.

 

Caution Cones for Parents:

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is an action-packed adventure containing all of the elements one would normally associate with the genre: car chases, mayhem, constant peril. Mitch and Ben are in a race to be the first to discover the lost City of Gold. Mitch trails Ben throughout the film, knowing that Ben will lead him to the treasure. Mitch and his henchmen knock Ben’s father unconscious so they can clone his cell phone and thus track Ben’s movements; Mitch and his men pursue Ben in a high-speed car chase through the streets of London, firing guns and leaving a path of destroyed property in their wake, though no one is seriously harmed; once they discover the City of Gold, Mitch punches Riley and Ben then holds a knife to Abigail’s throat, threatening to harm her unless they do what he asks; Mitch finally sacrifices his own life to save the others, his death is implied and not shown. 

 

Ben, his parents, Riley, Abigail and Mitch encounter numerous perilous situations while attempting to find the City of Gold. 

 

Ben and his team also employ some questionable tactics to find what they are looking for.  Riley helps Ben break into his ex-girlfriend’s house to get her badge that will gain them access to a museum artifact.  She discovers them in the process, finds out what they are up to, and decides to help them in their quest.  Ben feigns drunkenness and starts a row with Abigail in Buckingham Palace so that he will be taken into custody by palace security. Once detained, Riley manipulates palace alarms and security to help them gain entry to the queen’s quarters and then to escape.  Ben “kidnaps” the President of the United States in order to ask him about the “Book of Secrets” but the President is never in peril. 

 

Book of Secrets contained only the mildest sexual content. Abigail flirts with and kisses an admirer who works in the White House in order to distract him long enough for Ben to find a clue hidden in the Oval office. Abigail and Ben were once romantically involved and shared a house. At the end of the film, they are reconciled and she invites him to move back in with her. 

 

The film contained no foul language to speak of.

 

Though the action sequences are intense and suspenseful, except for Mitch’s ultimate sacrifice to help the others escape with their lives, no one is harmed. National Treasure also reinforces many virtues like courage, perseverance, helpfulness, idealism, and non-violence. Though Mitch aggressively pursues Ben, Ben promises to cooperate with him if he will put away his weapons so that no one gets hurt in the process. Despite the way Mitch has treated him and his family, Ben promises to share credit for the discovery of the City of Gold with Mitch – and he keeps his promise. Though Ben bends the rules to find the clues he needs to clear his family name, he pursues non-violent means.  Ben’s motivation throughout the film is the value he places in his family and restoring his great-grandfather’s good name in the eyes of history.

 

This action-packed adventure will test your knowledge of history and keep you on the edge of your seat right up to the end.  Because of the intense actions scenes, this film is not recommended for children under the age of ten, but older children may be inspired by this film and by Ben’s adventures to learn more about United States history.

 


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