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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 Zara
May 22nd, 2009

I have to hand a lot to Amy Adams. She's pretty, she's spunky and in the tight pair of pants she wears playing Amelia Earhart in this movie, she's got a great ass to boot. She also provided a great deal of the fun factor for me in this movie. I've always loved reading about how Earhart was fearless, looking for adventure and winning over all the naysayers around her concerning her supposed inability to do things simply because she was a woman. I loved the nod to her as Adams' version and Ben Stiller's returning Larry the night guard go into the air and space portion of the Smithsonian and are greeted by the Tuskegee pilots, those brave black pilots who were also told what they couldn't do back in their day.

I was a little more bitter and skeptical when I watched the original version of this movie and to be fair, the first movie paralleled my feelings. It seemed to like the idea of what it was doing, but was burdened by needing to have reasons for things coming to life and a storyline (the previous night guards) to go with it. The movie was grumpy like Stiller was grumpy for having to take the job at the museum.

But this version is far happier, with Stiller being in a position to understand the magic that he had working for the museum. (In the beginning we see that his inventions have finally hit as-seen-on-TV pay dirt.) And while there is some familiarity with the first movie, there is a lot of added attention to newer characters, in particular Hank Azaria as a lisping angered Egyptian, older brother to the pharaoh from the first movie. Azaria always captures the correct spirit of the movies that he's in and in this case it's to be a funny knock-off (remember, these are statues and replicas coming to life, not the real corpses, so you have to use your imagination some to understand that they themselves might not really grasp the reasoning behind their actions) of a man who claims to desire control of the world.

The movie is fun and fast and silly. It has portions which make less sense than others (or no sense at all, like the silly version of General Custer, played with glee by the fantastic Bill Hader... even though he later provides an interesting observation on what people are remembered for) and does occasionally drag here and there.

But the CGI is astounding, the historical concepts are fun, the movie teaches through subtlety different famous artwork (forget about The Thinker you see in trailers and instead appreciate that they throw in a Degas ballerina) and dammit... Amy Adams is worth her weight in cinema gold no matter what she's in. Especially when she gets you to realize that "Jimmy-Jacked" sounds great when you're between a rock and a hard place. I really can't imagine another actress who could have pulled that off so well.

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