Monday, May 26, 2008

Public Service Announcement: Don't Watch National Treasure II

Unless, of course, you super love ginormous plot holes, contrived beyond suspension of disbelievablility plot points, characters with exactly one dimension and two facial expressions each, and Helen Mirren's awesome boobs. Okay, actually, strike that last one, because everyone loves Helen Mirren (boobs or otherwise), but you should not watch this movie just for Helen Mirren. Although I will give her this: she tones it down to the exact level of the movie, never once looking out of place. Dang. That lady is super. If there hadn't been a HUGE thunder storm to distract us, it may well have been unwatchable. Here is a synopsis:

[[WARNING: This is extrodinarily long. The reason is threefold: 1) I type at about 90 wpm, so I tend to write way more than I intend to without really noticing it. 2) I tend to blog late at night when all sense of time and length has left me. 3) This post has a lot of short lines. But I can't promise they're all worth reading. Or that it's well edited. So, um, sorry about that!]]

Nick Cage: My ancestor saved the Union in the civil war by burning part of John Wilkes Booth's Diary and dying the same night Lincoln was assassinated.
Audience: [clap clap clap]
Bald Guy: Only he was actually a co-conspirator! See how this other page from Wilkes' diary proves that?
Nick Cage: Oh noes! I better steal some priceless artifacts to prove that this guy is a poopy head!

Young guy: I'm sellin' a book. Dag. No ladies like me. They wish I was Nick Cage. Double Dag! My car is being repoed by the IRS!
Nick Cage: Where's your car, YG?
Young guy: Where's your house, Nick Cage?
Nick Cage: I'm breaking up with my girlfriend, but she gets the house. That is mine. Because I bought it. With my adventuring money from the first movie. Say, you wouldn't be interested in clearing my ancestor's name from a clearly specious accusation, would you?
YG: Yea! My life has meaning again!
Nick Cage: Yea! You can help me break into my house (that my girlfriend gets in the breakup for some reason even though I'm making it super clear we're not married) and steal my girlfriend's ID badge.

YG: B&E is super easy for me and my bag of tech gagets.
NC: Oh no, she's home! With a date!
Girlfriend: What are you doing here? Gimme that. I'm coming too! Adventure! [grumble]

GF: I'm spectro-intrared-cg-analyzing your diary page with my museum curator machines. Which I wasn't going to do even though it's my job until you made me.
NC: A cypher! Let's solve it!
YG: Okay, I'll manually enter every 5-letter word in the English language in this computer program.
NC: Dad, can you remember any more details from a story your grandfather told you as a boy that might tell us the secret cypher key word?
Nick Cage's Dad: Gosh son, I don't know. He said, "Oh, it was scary. And the cypher keyword is "Implausible."
NC: That's not five letters, but good enough!
YG: Yea! I'm being useful!
NC: This means we have to go to Paris.

Baddies: [breaking into NCD's house]
NCD: Humdidum, bringing in the groceries. Oh noes!
Baddies: [knock out NCD] Get his phone. Now we have a copy! This whole process was so profoundly stupid and ridiculous it can only serve as a warning to others that working on films of this nature robs everyone of their most basic sense of verisimilitude.

NCD: Nick Cage, I was totally knocked unconscious! By goons!
NC: [shouting, leaping from chair] I. Am. In. Paris. I. Am. Coming. Home. Right. Now. [This was the most crazily stilted piece of dialog in the whole movie.]
NCD: Nah.
NC: [sitting] O. K. I. Will. Stay. Here. In. Paris.

BG: Now I have a copy of NCD's phone. I am a super genius and also clearly a super bad guy! Bwah ha ha!

NC: Let's use a camera to look at Paris' statue of liberty real close for a secret message.
YG: Okay.
French Policeman: Hey, cut it out!
NC: Let me recite all kinds of obscure historical "facts" that we probably made up on the spot! It makes me look super smart and almost convincing as a scholar. Lucky for me, I'm supposed to be a scholar of the "DaVinci Code" variety. You know: Suckmaster Scholar. FPM, can you tell me which way to Buckinham Palace? I have to break into the Queen's desk!
FPM: I'll call you a cab, Nick Cage! Nothing about that statement seems at all fishy! YG, I'm writing you a ticket! [Wah wah!]

NC: Dad, we're going to England.
BG: (I totally heard that.)

NC: Lalala, breaking into Buckingham Palace is so easy!
GF: I came to help you.
NC: What are you doing here? I'm making a scene!
GF: Oh, yeah, well I guess I'll help!
NC: Now that we're locked up, you should go home while I climb into the service elevator with a large floral display.
GF: No, I'm coming too.
NC: Good thing there are no guards anywhere in Buckinham Palace except for the foyer.
GF: Super good. Let's rifle through the queen's drawers!
NC: Rad. That's why I like you.
GF: Ooh, neat hidey-hole. But what's with the old piece of wood?

NC: Oh noes! Bald Guy! Quick, a car chase!
YG: You drive real crazy!
NC: I'm running a red light for the picture. Tee hee! I just through this SIGNIFICANT HISTORICAL ARTIFACT into the Thames! Good this red light cameras have such high resolution cameras!

NC: Dad, translate this grainy picture of an old plank. It's in Ancient Native American!
NCD: I think it says, "Yes, there was only one language in Ancient Native America."
NC: Hrm. Let's ask mom just to be sure.
NCD: But she hates me! [pouts]

NC: Mom, translate this!
The Always Delightful Helen Mirren: I'm the best part of this movie and I'm not even trying!
NC: Yeah, that's true.
TADHM: Oh, right, your grainy picture of an old plank. Um, it says, "I am a treasure map to a fabled city of gold." You are a silly adventurer, Nick Cage. NCD? I totally still hate you for reasons that make no sense but allow me to holler a lot. Also, I am wearing a necklace with big, oddly shaped beads and all black because I am An Anthropologist!
NC: Helen Mirren, you are always a delight.
TADHM: Aw, that's sweet.

NC: Let's break into the white house!
GF: ME TOO, dangit!
NC: Okay - this time.

NC: Hey guy who wants to date my girlfriend. I'm going to vaguely insult your masculinity and you'll totally let me into the oval office.
NC: Distract him while I poke the president's desk.
GF: Hey, GWWTDNCGF, you wanna have sloppy makeouts while Nick Cage looks for my lost earring in a part of the oval office I never walked through?
NC: Oh noes! The old plank is missing!

YG: The old plank is in the President's Book. It's a thing I made up. It talks about Area 51, because that's the only thing Conspiracy Theorists like me care about ever.
NC: Huh. I'm going to need that.

NC: FBI Guy I know somehow, who is maybe tracking me maybe not, what about this President's Book thing?
FBI Guy: Let's go outside so I can divulge state secrets because I am only an FBI Guy in my office. Outside I am your friend and the rules don't apply. Um, there is a book. But only the President knows where it is. Because it's his. It's the President's Book.

NC: I'm going to kidnap the president.
Everyone else: No! That's a terrible idea.
NC: Two words: Mount Vernon.
YG, NCD, GF: I'm in.

NC: I'm totally breaking into the President's birthday party at Mount Vernon. Good thing the secret service is crap at their jobs. Hey, Mr. President! I brought you a musty old map!
President: I saw in the news your family was discredited. That's too bad. Ooh! I love maps!
NC: Really? Total surprise to me. You wanna shake off these secret service a-holes and explore an old tunnel?
President: You know it!
NC: Now that I've got you in a totally old room, I need to see your book.
President: You're so going to jail.
NC: Maybe. But I'm not really kidnapping you. So, um, can I see your book? Please?
President: Well, you did say please.

NC: We're breaking into the Library of Congress which is apparently both open and full of patrons at midnight.
GF: I'm here because I have a pass!
YG: I'm here because I'm your side kick!
NC: The book! Hooray! It has a photo of the other plank which was burned a billionty-half years ago by some a-hole called Coolridge. Also, Queen Victoria supported the confederacy. I'm totally glad I stole her old plank and threw it in the river!
GF: Oh noes! The FBI!
YG: Time for a daring escape.
NC: If you drive fast enough, your Mercedes SUV can overcome the world's slowest rising barriers.
GF: Weeeeeeeeee!

NC: Dad, I need to translate another plank.
NCD: Yes, let's go see your mother.
NC: No, you need to do it. For some reason. Maybe because I'm being chased by the FBI?
[Um, sorry folks, I seriously tuned out at this point.]

BG: TADHM is a speaker of Ancient Native American!

BG: TADHM, can you look at a thing I have?
TADHM: Um, no. Cause it's bad?
BG: NCD is on his way in here. Don't give him the right translation.
NCD: TADHM, can you save yet another scene with your ability to turn the stupidest writing ever into some semblance of a scene?
TADHM: Without question.
BG: TADHM, get your coat, I'm taking you with me for a reason I won't explain.

BG: We're on Mount Rushmore. I'm going to find a fabled city of gold because I think the civil war is still being fought! Or something like that.
TADHM: This movie is dumb. [Okay, she didn't say that, but she should have. Because it's true.]
NC: Haha! I've totally beaten you here! TADHM sent us a code message!
BG: Fine, we'll all go together.
NC: Pour water on this rock to find the secret passage.
GF: I found it!
NC: Look, a door!
YG: Wee! I just love ruining national monuments!
NC: Oh no, we're falling down a pit!

TADHM: NCD, we're stuck on the other side of some random door thing. Let's dig our way out.
NCD: Okay.

NC: BG, we have to work as a team.
BG: No, me first.
NC: Okay. Let's get out of this totally contrived booby trap.

NC: Good thing we made it through. Wow, this room is full of water.
GF: Oh noes! We're trapped!
NC: Nuh uh. We'll just turn this really obvious lever here.
GF: You're so smart!

NC: A fabled city of gold! Let's no one mention how ridiculous it is for an AZTEC city to be in SOUTH DAKOTA.
Everyone: O K.
TADHM & NCD: You hoo!
NC: Hooray! Helen Mirren is still in this movie! Helen Mirren, your boobs look awesome!
TADHM: Thank you!

GF: Oh noes! It's filling with water!
NC: Let's go through this trapped door thing where one of us has to stay behind.
BG: Haha, it will be you!
NC: Oh noes, the current is so strong! It will be you!
BG: I've been your adversary for no particular reason this whole movie, but now my life is forfeit so I will confess that actually your ancestor wasn't a bad dude after all. I just wanted to make a name for my family! Remember me fondly....
NC: O K! I will! Even though no one will ever explain what my ancestor's name on that list really means! [Here is a thing he should have said: "Also, this room is not filling that fast. If you go out into the larger chamber, we can probably get help down to you before you drown." But he didn't. And BG drowned in the most incredible sudden-filling of a chamber with water ever.]

NC: Look, a light! We're saved!
Everyone: Hooray!
NC: Wow, there's a lot of FBI agents here.
FBI Guy: You're under arrest for kidnapping the President. For 22 minutes.
NC: That's cool.

The President: You are a rad dude. FBI Guys, he did not kidnap me. We were explorin' at Mount Vernon.
FBI Guy: Oh, well then. That's a totally different kind of a thing!
NC: Let us all remember BG.
President: O K. Also, look at tomorrow's paper, which I happen to have here.
NC: Yea! My ancestor's name has been cleared! On the front page of the Post! Because everyone cared about this! And when I blew a hole in the side of Mount Rushmore, someone informed the press that I was discovering a lost city of gold and that somehow meant that my ancestor was a cool dude AND I finally won us the Civil War! Hooray! I'm awesome!
GF: That's true. Also, you should move back in. To your house. That you own. Even though I live there and you don't.

YG: My car is back! Hooray! I will now back it into something! [wah wahhhh!]


So there you have it. I don't feel like I need to say anything else about this AWFUL movie. And now you don't have to sit through it! Unless you're on a plane. Although if that is the case, I suggest you do what Pete and I did with "Dare Devil": Take off your headset, put on an eye mask, and hope to god you fall asleep quickly.


Dale said...

Sydney, I'm not sure the thunderstorm lets you out of explaining why you sat through this. Was it the thought of blogging it later that sustained you? That it was your duty to protect others from seeing it? Or was it the sheer fascination of the awful?

Sydney said...

It was a rented test movie for Mom's new Blu-Ray player. I actually had no plan to blog about it until it kept popping to mind all night. This was really more of an exorcism, I guess.

SonicLlama said...

Now, it's my understanding that this movie was all about some sort of Presidential Book of Secrets. I'm sort of wondering how such a thing would get compiled. Would it be something like:

Aide: So, should this go in the official archives, sir?
Prez: That? Oh no.
Aide: Top Secret, sir? Classified?
Prez: This? Far too sensitive. I'm afraid this will have to go into the Presidential Book of Secrets.
Aide: Sir?
Prez: It's the musty tome in the third drawer of my desk. Hand it here, will you? Thank you. That will be all.

Or something like that.

Was Nic Cage ever cool? I think he was cool in high school when Face Off came out. That was pretty much it, right?

Sydney said...

The President's Book is compiled by Presidents, for Presidents. It's like FUBU, except it's BPFP, an unpronounceable string of labial consonants. According to the movie, Presidents write in it like an intergenerational diary.
"Dear President's Book,
Being President is way harder than being Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. I totally found this secret cubby hole in my desk today and learned that old Queen Vickie was totally for the Confederacy! She must have found Jeff Davis' southern accent charming or some such nonsense. I took a picture of it with one of these new fangled portable cameras that are all the rage (it's in color - without subtractive color edges! - even though that isn't readily available yet!) and then I destroyed that mean old Biddy's secret wooden message. Sigh... to be second in command again... Oh well, at least the economy is strong!

Beau said...

Well, this warning message came too late for me. Alas, my love of the movie experience and the fact that the first movie was... tolerable (is that too generous? Sean Bean raises almost any movie to that standard) convinced me it couldn't be that bad. Heck, I said, it might even be pretty good. Alright, I am gullible, I admit that, but the movie really was quite painful.

So, damn you Syd! Damn you for not suffering through this and warning me sooner.

Sydney said...

Dude, Beau, if I am your first line of defense against bad movies, I have some bad news for you: I don't watch a lot of movies anymore. Srsly. Here are the five most recent movies I've seen in the theater:

-Iron Man (5/26)
-Sweeney Todd (when Joe was in town, so Christmas?)
-Ballad of Ricky Bobby
-Mr. & Mrs. Smith (in MD)
-Wimbledon (in MD, my first year)

I'm not proud of that last one on the list, by the by, but that was when I thought I could still tolerate theaters. Actually, aside from being a SUPER FANTASTIC TOTALLY WORTH $10 movie, Iron Man was the first in what, three? five years?, that wasn't too loud. Strangely, the Batman preview was, but the other previews were normal volume.

My point is this: if you're looking for advanced warning on movies, I will probably let you down. Ooh, maybe I'll post my most recent recommendations.