Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

2009

Action / Adventure

Synopsis


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August 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Director

Cast

Ben Stiller as Larry Daley
Owen Wilson as Jedediah
Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart
Hank Azaria as Kahmunrah/The Thinker - (voice)/Abe Lincoln - (voice)
720p
750.41 MB
1280*544
English
PG
English
23.976 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 18 / 139

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bjohnt 8 / 10

Exceeded my Expectations

When I saw the trailer for this, I was pretty excited. I loved the whole premise of the first one, and having a sequel opened up whole new opportunities. I was excited when I saw all these famous characters from history being mashed together, Al Capone, Napoleon Bonaparte, Amelia Earhart, to name a few.

I walked into the theater not expecting to much, but when I left I was very happy with it. They handled every characters personality beautifully, and the inside jokes were hilarious. I don't want to give much away, but trust me, you'll laugh. It tackles many themes like, a house divided cannot stand, the way to happiness is doing what you love, don't dwell on the past, etc. For a family flick they handle this jumbled cast of characters with complex personalities amazingly. They threw away most of the characters from the first movie to make way for the newer characters, which I didn't like that much, but how many characters can you throw in a story to have it make sense?

This film is an amazing example of a movie made for kids and adults. Kids will enjoy the silly humor, and the monkey. While adults will laugh at the onslaught of in-jokes, and trust me, there's a lot.

All in all, this was a great movie, blew me away. The highlight for me was Hank Azaria, that lisp kills me every time.

Reviewed by Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) 6 / 10

A good family film, more fun then the first!

Well, it's been 3 years since we had the comedy hit Night at the Museum, naturally they went for a sequel to either make more money or spill the story for what it's worth. Eh, I pick all of thee above. But surprisingly Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was actually a lot better then I had expected, in fact, I think I enjoyed it much more then the first Night at the Museum. Now the first Night at the Museum movie was alright, it didn't really thrill me, Ben Stiller is praised so much as a comedic actor but I've only found him funny in Zoolander. But when it comes to movies like Meet the Parents, There's Something About Mary and Night at the Museum, it's usually the supporting cast that carries the movie and he seems just like the same character in every movie. Once again the supporting cast saves this movie and makes it a great family film.

Larry Daley is now head of Daley Devices, a company he founded to manufacture his inventions. These inventions, including the Glow-in-the-Dark Flashlight, were created from his experiences as a former night guard. He finds that the American Museum of Natural History is closed for upgrades and renovations, and the museum pieces are moving to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. On the last night, Larry meets the museum pieces such as Teddy Roosevelt, Rexy the T Rex Skeleton, and Dexter the Monkey and finds out that several exhibits, including Teddy, Rexy, the Easter Island Head, and Ahkmenrah are not moving to The Smithsonian Institution, the other exhibits will no longer be animated. The next night, Larry gets a call from Jedediah, saying that Dexter stole the tablet, and that Kahmunrah, Ahkmenrah's older brother, is attacking them. Larry takes a plane to Washington and visits the National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Castle to find the Federal Archives.

Over all Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is worth the recommendation, I'd say a matinee if you want to see it with the family. Hank Azaria puts a bit of a strange personality for Kahmunrah, but he provides quite a few good laughs. Along with Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan who are back as the cowboy and the roman soldier, great chemistry right there. They have this scene that nearly killed me in laughter, since they're so small they go 300 style in trying to stab all the bad guy's feet, great style and homage to the war films. Amy Adams pulls in a great performance that I feel is going to be over looked as Amelia Earhart, she has that old school Hollywood look to her and personality that was a perfect choice. There are some great moments in this sequel but there are some really silly one's as well, so over all I'd say it's worth the look, it's a good family film, but again nothing too memorable.

6/10

Reviewed by Movie_Muse_Reviews 4 / 10

Poorly manufactured sequel that stays bearable with a few good characters

The first "Night at the Museum" worked despite conventions for a few reasons, but the main one was that it eased into its premise of museum exhibits coming to life and didn't take it for granted like "Night of the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" does. I'm actually surprised the writers of the first film wrote this sequel, because Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant handle these characters like they're someone else's creation and they can butcher them all they want.

"Night at the Museum 2" sucks the magic out of the original and overdoses on characters as well as meandering sarcasm and awkward humor. Save some bright spots in character acting from a delightful and plucky Amy Adams and some bright spots from Hank Azaria and Christopher Guest, "Smithsonian" will disappoint most defenders of the first film -- except kids and anyone else who'll bite on an outrageous premise.

Ben Stiller stars again as Larry Daley, only our beloved night security guard has randomly become a mastermind of As Seen on TV products. That decision alone completely destroys the continuity between this film and the last, forcing Larry's story to be something totally different than the single dad trying to be a role model for his son. Now son is hacking into the Smithsonian Institute floor plans to direct his dad to the location of the tablet that brings things to life at night. See the Museum of Natural History is going digital and all the beloved characters of the first film are shipped to the national archives in DC, only that naughty monkey brought the tablet with him and so the Smithsonian has come to life.

Our source of conflict is the Pharaoh at the Smithsonian, Kahmunrah, played by Azaria doing his best Stewie Griffin impression, who wants the tablet to unleash his army, so he gets help from Napoleon, Ivan the Terrible (Guest) and young Al Capone. At least director Shawn Levy realized the asset they had in Azaria and had him voice a couple other key statues that come to life later on. Azaria's too good for this film, really, but he plays at its level instead of pushing it and even manages a few of the better laughs when he puts a major diss on Darth Vader.

Then there's Amy Adams, the lone diamond in a sea of forced comedy and excessive cameos. It might seem like loving Adams is the "it" thing, but she brings the imaginative spirit sorely lacking in the film as Amelia Earheart. Every time she speaks it literally feels like the film gets more believable because she's such a convincing spirit. She also gets to work her best Katherine Hepburn impression to boot.

But "Smithsonian" is more defined by its disappointments and synthetic sequel material. Lennon and Garant try and include too many characters between the old ones and the new ones and the film just feels chaotic. It's like a contest to see how many new ideas of different things they can bring to life from paintings and photos on the wall to historical monuments in DC.

Worst of all, it's completely rushed. Understood that we get the coming-to-life premise and we aren't going to be surprised by it, but they take all the fun out of it. Levy figures a shot a piece of the statues of Amelia and Bill Hader's Col. Custer are adequate foreshadow, but they're not. Daley just cons his way into the archives and the story rockets right into the Smithsonian with a few quick facts about what it is to provide context.

"Night at the Museum 2" does just about everything we used to be terrified of sequels doing in the '90s -- overdoing it and diverting from the core values that won some love for the original because that film wasn't just about things coming to life.

~Steven C

http://moviemusereviews.com

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