Home > Reviews > NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS – Trevor Rabin


December 21, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Considering the monumental success of the original National Treasure movie, it was almost inevitable that a sequel would be made – and so here we are again, with Jon Turteltaub directing Nicolas Cage as adventurer Ben Gates – although this time he’s trying to get his hands on a mythical “book of secrets” which, if found, will uncover the truth about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and exonerate his great-great-grandfather from the accusations that he collaborated with John Wilkes Booth, the great president’s killer. Along for the ride this time around are Jon Voight, Ed Harris, Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel, Justin Bartha and Diane Kruger, as is composer Trevor Rabin, who scored the original.

The opening cue, “Page 47”, is actually a pretty decent reworking of the main National Treasure theme, overlaid with a surging fiddle undercurrent and an interesting variation on a solo violin, which eventually gives way to a typical pseudo-Zimmer power anthem, replete with male voice choirs and crashing chords. Unfortunately, for the most part, this is where the innovation ends, and what remains is an entertaining, but another of the wholly predictable summer blockbuster Jerry Bruckheimer scores we have come to know so well.

Once or twice something interesting happens (for some reason, Rabin interjects a honky tonk piano into the middle of “Cibola”, and for less obscure reasons puts an accordion into “Spirit of Paris”), or the undulating fiddle motif reappears, but for the most part Book of Secrets is an exact replica of the original National Treasure, right down to the dance music rhythms (“Gabby’s Shuffle”) and the Thomas Newman-esque American Beauty references which were so out of place in the first film (and aren’t any less distracting here).

It’s not that the score is bad in any way – in many places it is, in fact, quite rousing and entertaining. It’s just that it sounds so much like its predecessors and so many of its contemporaries, and has so little true originality, it could be any score from any movie. The score, which only runs for a hair over 20 minutes, was not released in stores, and is only available as a digital download.

Rating: **½

Track Listing:

  • Page 47 (2:39)
  • Cibola (5:16)
  • Spirit of Paris (2:21)
  • City of Gold (2:14)
  • So! (1:47)
  • Bunnies (2:03)
  • Gabby Shuffle (1:52)
  • Franklin’s Tunnel (4:28)

Running Time: 22 minutes 40 seconds

Walt Disney Digital Downloads (2007)

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