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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
4 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Shawn Levy

Written By:
Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon

Cast:
Amy Adams, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Jonah Hill, Owen Wilson, Bill Hader, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Hank Azaria, Craig Robinson, Christopher Guest, Dick Van Dyke, Eugene Levy, Clint Howard, Thomas Lennon, Ed Helms, Rami Malek, Robert Ben Garant, Patrick Gallagher, Alain Chabat, Jon Bernthal, Matthew Harrison, Nicole Wilson, Samuel Patrick Chu, Alberta Mayne, Nick Dash, Darryl Quon, Vinson Corbo, Thomas Joe Craig, John Doty, Dan Joffre, Charlie Robson, Lauren Emily Jacobs, Jake Cherry, Tom MacNeill, Todd McCall, Mizuo Peck, Keith Powell, Regina Taufen, Kerry van der Griend, Rick Dobran

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
May 22nd, 2009

This is the pointless and dumb sequel to the reasonably successful Night at the Museum, and the same team has reunited, with a larger budget, to hopefully rake in more dough at the box office this weekend, despite stiff competition from Terminator: Salvation, Star Trek, and Angels & Demons. I was not a fan of the first movie, and like this one even less. The premise is cute, and could open up a whole spectrum of cool ideas, but it is lamely executed, and what we get is just wall-to-wall special effects, as museum exhibits spring to life, and we see various historical figures played by actors who look nothing like them. Ben Stiller returns as Larry Daley, divorced dad and former museum security guard, now a wealthy entrepreneur. He is willing to leave this behind, however, to help out his old friends, the exhibits, who have been relocated to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

The magical tablet that animates them is brought along, too, but unfortunately, the world is in trouble when Egyptian king Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) also comes to life, and holds everyone captive, until Larry can save them. Larry is encouraged to go by his son, Nicky (Jake Cherry), and he receives some much-needed assistance from Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), the famous female pilot. Kahmunrah recruits some allies, gangster Al Capone (John Bernthal), Napoleon (Alain Cuboid), and a surprisingly tame Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest).

On Larry's side are miniature cowboy Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Roman soldier Octavius (Steve Coogan), horse-riding president Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams). We also see Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck), George Custer (Bill Hader), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher), with cameos from Darth Vader, Oscar the Grouch, and Albert Einstein. Azaria pulls triple duty, playing not only Kahmunrah, but also voicing Rodin's famous sculpture The Thinker, and Abe Lincoln, or rather, the giant statue at the Lincoln Memorial. This is undoubtedly not difficult for Azaria, who does several different characters on The Simpsons.

Larry breaks numerous laws by entering the Smithsonian and tinkering with the displays, but no police ever show up to investigate, and apparently the residents of the DC area are not alarmed when the Lincoln Memorial decides to get up and take a stroll, like the Statue of Liberty in Ghostbusters II. It is purely illogical, and while I often do suspend disbelief to enjoy certain films, this required something more than that. Thankfully, Amy Adams is delightful, doing far more with her role than is required by the script. Stiller and his other co-stars are mostly forgettable. There is nothing particularly funny here.

Visual trickery abounds, but the most impressive technical credit is the costume design, which accurately and authentically represents multiple time periods. A span of roughly 4000 years, if we go back all the way to ancient Egypt. A romance develops between Larry and Amelia, I suppose, though this Amelia is not a real person, and has been dead for 70 years. Aimed primarily at children, and intended to be family entertainment.

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