Night At The Museum – Battle For The Smithsonian — Review #JPMN

Released on May 22nd of this year – it’s the
sequel to very successful blockbuster hit of 2006 – starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson,
Robin Williams, Hank Azaria, Amy Adams, and a huge ensemble cast. In the first movie,
our protagonist, Larry Daley, played by Ben Stiller becomes the night watchmen at New
York’s Natural History museum, where the exhibits literally “come alive” at night. Fast-forward
a couple years for the plot of this sequel, and we find that Larry’s old museum pals are
being shipped away to live in storage – underneath the National Mall, in the Smithsonian Museum
archives. Larry has to travel to Washington DC and do battle with the quick-talking and
goofy Pharoah, Kahmunrah, played brilliantly by Hank Azaria, for the mystical Golden Tablet
that brings all of the exhibits to life. I hadn’t seen the original until yesterday
– so watching both movies back-to-back was a real treat. Ben Stiller is refreshing in
the only role he is able to play well – the slapstick hero with a heart of gold. Although
dreadfully underused, each and every member of the supporting cast does their share of
bringing in the laughs. Having nearly every actor from the original movie reprising their
role in this bigger and more adventurous sequel is always a great recipe for a successful
movie. The character’s developments from the previous film felt organic, and the new problems
presented didn’t seem like the usual “Hollywood-Money-Grubbing-For-A-Sequel”, like we’ve seen in many other franchises.
I felt that bringing the action to the Smithsonian was a great concept, allowing for many fun
and exciting character additions. And as this is a family movie – I think this strategy
worked wonderfully – the action is nearly non-stop throughout the film, with a playful
lighthearted tone keeping everything kid-friendly for the 105-minute run time. Unlike the first
film, Stiller was smartly cast opposite Amy Adams as the female/romantic lead – dutifully
playing Amelia Earhart – this romantic sub-plot gives the movie a nice foundation that I feel
the first movie lacked. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this movie too much, but I genuinely
laughed and smiled more than a few times while watching this movie – which can best be described
as the ultimate kid’s fantasy. I especially loved how the film brought to life several
famous American paintings – an interesting and fun scene you can’t help by smile at.
Obviously, this movie’s large ensemble cast it where it really shines – but I couldn’t
help but feel this is also where the movie failed. Many of the characters – especially
the trio of villains Kahmanrah enlists to help him retrieve the tablet – seemed woefully
underdeveloped and poorly utilized. There were several scenes where characters were
haphazardly introduced just to deliver a single joke, and then were forgotten about for most
of the film. In contrast to the original film, where I felt the core cast meshed very well
with each other. Sadly, Robin Williams – who was easily the most memorable character from
the first film is mostly absent from this film – making only minor appearances to close
out the film. So, it was a very fun and original family
comedy that complimented the first film nicely… but what did you think about Night At The
Museum 2: benpalm1 I enjoyed Battle at the Smithsonian,
but mostly because I enjoyed relating the movie to my own Smithsonian visit and because
i was in the mood for cheesy, unintelligent comedy. who knows when I’ll be in both of
those moods again? danm966 Night at the Museum 2 was utter crap.
It was such an embarassment to the first one as many of the jokes were genarally not funny
and most of the film was a slapstick comedy mess. I think it would be a good movie for
people under the age of 10. LOVED the first one, but this is a 2 thumbs DOWN. evillttlimp I thought Night at the Museum
(both the original and the sequel) was cute. I enjoyed watching it, and the visuals were
quite impressive. Also, Amy Adams is always fun to watch. Alight! Well, I got some complaints last week
for changing up the Rate-O-Matic on you… so we’re returning to the old format – where
this rating will now reflect our collective score. The reviews on this one movie were
definitely mixed, but most of you agreed that it was an above-average movie – so it receives
a 7 – Cool!

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