| Two Reviews below by Keith Cohen and Jolene Mendez.
The sequel to the 2006 family blockbuster brings back night guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) and several of the familiar historical figures on exhibit.
Larry is now a successful businessman. It's been two years since he left his post at the Museum of Natural History. The New York City tourist attraction is closing for renovations and the collection of pieces are being temporarily moved to storage in the underground secure area of the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Daley gets a distress call from the miniature cowboy Jedidiah (Owen Wilson) informing him that the magical Egyptian tablet that animates the exhibits is included in the shipment.
A new threat of world domination is posed by the effeminate evil Pharaoh Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) attired in a tunic and his cohorts Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon and Al Capone.
Daley heads to Washington to save the day. He manages to steal a security badge from an inept guard (Jonah Hill from "Superbad") after a no touching confrontation.
Daley is joined in his efforts to take back the Smithsonian for the good guys by new friends Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams from "Enchanted") and General George Armstrong Custer (SNL cast member Bill Hader).
This disappointing retread brings nothing new to the table. It lacks the charm, novelty and originality of the first movie. The surprise element of the exhibits coming to life and a heightened sense of danger are missing. Everything seems old hat to Stiller, who has a nonchalant "been there, done that" approach.
The movie is very busy with objects flying around, animals stampeding, paintings coming to life and helter-skelter movement of the main players. The flimsy rescue story is full of logistical impossibilities and plot holes bigger than the Grand Canyon.
This dumb outing, which is nothing more than an extended live action cartoon, is strictly for small fry ages 6 to 12. Most of the jokes and sight gags are not funny.
Red-headed Adams spices things up with a spirited performance as the irrepressible, sassy female aviator spouting trendy slang from her era. She is in the mood for love, but Stiller's character hardly notices her shapely figure displayed in skin-tight pants. Adams steals the show from the other actors and deserves to be in a better movie.
While the first film had an educational element that encouraged learning more through reading books and visiting museums, this follow-up fails to provide much in the way of historical significance.
The slapstick shenanigans with the monkeys get the biggest laughs. The majority of the attempts at humor never tickle the funny bone.
Talented comedians Robin Williams (as Teddy Roosevelt) and Ricky Gervais (as a NYC museum manager) are wasted in small roles. Grownups chaperoning the youngsters will be bored as the 105 minutes seem interminable.
The IMAX version is available at AMC Studio 30 and AMC Barrywoods 24.
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"
Review Below By:
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 3/4 Stars
Ben Stiller is back as Larry Daley in “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”, as the night guard who struggled with keeping peace between the breathing museum exhibits from dusk till dawn. Larry has found a name for himself through his own money making inventions known as Daley Devices, causing his schedule to become so hectic that his museum visits are diminished. When he happens to make a pop in return he finds the museum has boxed up many of its artifacts. Larry learns the museum is undertaking renovations to a new modern level, one where the artifacts will no longer be needed. All have been boxed and are ready to be shipped to the Smithsonian. Larry is discouraged by this, but tells his friends he will do what he can to bring them home. When Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) informs Larry the tablet will be left behind and his friends will no longer wander the nights his guilt begins to set in.
Following Larry’s museum visit he receives a phone call from Jedediah Smith (Owen Wilson), he informs Larry the battle is on at the Smithsonian. Apparently the monkey stole the tablet and now the largest historic museum is coming to life. Larry rushes to his friend’s aid and runs into many troubles along the way. We are introduces to a variety of new characters from Ivan the Terrible to Al Capone. One particular new character stands out, Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), who brings some life to the museum with her freewill attitude and courageous antics. With the help of the lovely Ms. Earhart and his loyal friends can Larry restore the museum to its peaceful nights before all hell breaks out?
“Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” certainly upstaged its predecessor. It offered tons of adventure and thrills that the whole family will enjoy. Amy Adams has a charming performance as Amelia Earhart and has fiery chemistry with Ben Stiller. Bill Hader added a jolt of energy to the film that was lacking from the original. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is much busier and louder than the first, but what director Shawn Levy has to offer is everything the kids will love.