Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger return to the adventure franchise National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, a ludicrous, over-the-top but overall rather entertaining action-comedy. As people know, I feel the franchise – I call it a franchise because there is no denying that a third one will find its way to theaters at some point – is way overrated. The first movie, while not terrible, wasn’t nearly as exciting or smart as people think it is. I went into Book of Secrets with really low expectations and was, thankfully, pleasantly surprised, but I’m not kidding myself that it’s some glorious piece of work. You can read my full National Treasure 2 movie review here.
This blog post is about the 2-Disc Collector’s Edition version of National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, which arrives in stores on May 20th, conveniently right before the new Indiana Jones movie arrives in theaters.
The DVD contains a fair amount of interesting and honest special features:
- Audio commentary with Jon Turteltaub and Jon Voight. I didn’t listen to this – honestly, who has time to re-watch movies with the audio commentaries? I sure as hell don’t.
- Deleted scenes with introductions by Jon Turteltaub. The first bit of bonus material I went for was the deleted scenes, and there are some pretty good ones here. More interesting than the scenes themselves are Turteltaub, who delivers an introduction for each one. Turteltaub seems like a genuinely funny guy, and his discussions of the film seem honest and heartfelt.
- Bloopers and outtakes. Your typical blooper reel; there’s some funny stuff here, though nothing amazing.
- Secrets of a Sequel. One of the weaker featurettes on the DVD, this one talks about the challenges of making a sequel. Once again, things are pretty honest as they discuss that everyone assumes a sequel is easy work, but there’s still a lot of work and effort to deliver something unique. Still, it contains a fair amount of, “National Treasure 2 is going to be bigger and better,” kind of statements.
- On Location. This featurette looks at some of the sets around the country and world. Pretty interesting at times.
- Street Stunts: Creating the London Chase. This one is pretty entertaining. While the scene in the movie might be a little out of place (would Ed Harris and his crew really destroy a neighborhood in London so boldly?), it’s always fun to see a bus plow through parked cars and crowded street during a car chase. Seeing it from off camera is just as entertaining.
- Inside the Library of Congress. I don’t remember this featurette, so either I accidentally skipped over it or it instilled no lasting memory.
- Underground Action. This is a pretty interesting featurette that looks at the action that takes place in Mt. Rushmore, specifically the balancing stone tab that the characters find themselves on. There’s some insightful filmmaking stuff here.
- Cover Story: Crafting the President’s Book. This one takes a look at getting the conspiracies into a book, and includes some of the actors providing their viewpoint on whether such a book really exists. This one is pretty pointless, but oh well.
- Evolution of a Golden City. One of the better featurettes in the set, this one looks at the creation and planning that went into the underground city. Once again, the featurette doesn’t come off as promotional.
- Knights of the Golden Circle. Huh, don’t remember this one either. What the heck. I know I watched this one, but have no clue what it’s about…
The National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets 2-Disc Collector’s Edition (wow, that’s a mouthful) is a pretty good disc with some nice bonus features. Turteltaub really makes the featurettes worth it, as he seems to be having fun with both the production and talking to the camera. None of the featurettes seem too promotional and as such provide some great insight into the creation of the film.