PUBLISHED: 11:51 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 22 July 2010


WIBBERLEY isn't just the surname of the writers of NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (PG) - it also perfectly describes the film itself: it "wibbles" all over the place.

The follow-up to the 2004 hit sees treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) out to exonerate an ancestor who may have been part of the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.

Before you can say "who cares", Ben's travelling the globe with his family in tow - including his feisty mother, played by Helen Mirren.

While the set-up never hooks us as satisfyingly as the first movie, the real problems come from odd shifts in tone from camp comedy to family adventure and a story that relies on increasingly silly concepts to keep things moving - Ben has to "safe crack" a table in the Queen's bedroom at one point and then he's off kidnapping the US president.

There are some undeniably fun moments - a pulse-pounding car chase through central London is the stand-out action scene - but for the most part, the film suffers from a strong case of "sequelitis": it's tired, obvious and exactly the same as the original but just a little bit worse.

Still the fact the film-makers clearly don't care makes it - like Cage's hairline - as enjoyable as it is ludicrous. - JUSTIN MATLOCK

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