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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian » User review

Good, But Fell Short Of The Original

  • Jun 26, 2009
  • by
The first Night at the Museum movie was a film I really enjoyed as, for a film that would primarily be aimed at attracting a young audience, it contained some marvellous humour coupled with stunning CGI effects. Ben Stiller is an amazing comic actor and would only be complemented by the plethora of additional comic actors supporting him in the first movie. Legends such as Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke and Robin Williams featured in the first movie and made it that much more pleasurable to watch. Alongside the legends, we had comic greats such as Steve Coogan and Stiller's long time acting partner, Owen Wilson. The lot combined created one amazingly enjoyable movie for the whole family. The sequel, however, was not so enjoyable.

The story takes place 3 years after the original and former night guard of the New York, Museum of Natural History, Larry Daley has left his job and become a massive success as the CEO of his own company. He hasn't visited the Museum for a while and when he does finally pop by to say hello to the old gang, he finds out all his favourite exhibits are being moved to the national archives under the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Larry realises where his real loyalties lie and travels to the Smithsonian to rescue his old friends, Octavius (Coogan) and Jedediah (Wilson). While there, the ancient Egyptian tablet brings to life all the exhibits within the Smithsonian archive releasing the evil Pharaoh, Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) who plans to use the tablet to open a gate to the underworld, releasing his army of minions.

This sequel really seeks to up the ante in the case of magical exhibits being brought to life, including everything in the National Air and Space Museum and even Abraham Lincoln. When done well things such as that can really work, but I felt the bringing to life of the Abraham Lincoln of the Lincoln monument was a real stretch to increase the bizarre and ended up falling really flat. The inclusion of Hank Azaria who's primarily famous for his voicing in the Simpsons does actually work brilliantly as he becomes a marvellously eccentric evil. With his lisping ways and flamboyant clothing, you struggle to take him seriously, but he is a really funny presence that would not have been done better by any other actor.

Coogan and Wilson are also magnificent parts within the film as would be expected and it was made even more delightful by the odd Partridge-esque display from Coogan's character. The character of Amelia Earheart played by Amy Adams sought only to impress as the distracting good looking female to carry the more chauvinistic viewers amongst us, as I really saw no other purpose for the character. Ben Stiller was fantastic as always and there was some excellent dialogue within that made it a very enjoyable watch.

Both Night at the Museum movies are good in their own respect, but in all honesty, this was trying much too hard to fit more in than the original. It featured some excellent comic moments, but the overall plot and inclusion of Ricky Gervais made it sometimes frustrating to watch.

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More Night at the Museum: Battle of... reviews
review by . June 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Night at the Museum is still an interesting premise, but the writing on this particular film was not very good.  The plot was not as engaging and the characters were not as empathetic as the original.  So although it was still a somewhat fun movie, it was disappointing.    Here are some of the reasons for the disappointment on a character by character basis:   Ben Stiller was about the same.  So this was not a disappointment, but the further development …
Quick Tip by . September 14, 2010
It featured more of the same of the first movie, but on a much larger scale. Also, Custer was hilarious.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
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The special effects are breath taking without compromising the story telling.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
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a super cute sequal to a great family movie. ben stiller is great in these films. not only is it funny but semi-historically educational especially for younger kids.
review by . December 22, 2009
   This review is a compilation. I'm giving the movie 3 stars and tossing in some thoughts from those I watched the movie with.       My twenty-something daughter loved it, thought it was fresh and fun and she loved the long list of visitors in the film. I found the talent that dropped in to be fun and charming as well...but...the inclusion of a few of them in more than just a scene or two would have maybe made the movie even more fun.       My husband …
review by . December 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is no longer an out-of-work loser who needs to step up to the plate. This time around he's a highly successful CEO and workaholic who needs to slow down and focus on what really matters. That means he's got to accept that his true calling is not to invent new and mostly useless gadgets (like a glowing flashlight and a super-sized doggie bone) but to be an ordinary night guard in a far from ordinary museum.     One thing that was even more evident in …
review by . December 28, 2009
It's hard for me to grasp that the actors/comics who play Reno Sheriff's Department members Dangle & Junior are the same guys who wrote the 2 NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM movies. It's like telling me that Lenny Bruce wrote BAMBI. RENO is foul-mouthed, fast-paced, improv-heavy and most certainly not kid friendly. The MUSEUM movies are noisy but never untidy, by-the-numbers and family friendly.     But that strangeness aside, it's also amazing to me that so much technical wizardry, hard …
review by . December 22, 2009
This review is a compilation. I'm giving the movie 3 stars and tossing in some thoughts from those I watched the movie with.    My twenty-something daughter loved it, thought it was fresh and fun and she loved the long list of visitors in the film. I found the talent that dropped in to be fun and charming as well...but...the inclusion of a few of them in more than just a scene or two would have maybe made the movie even more fun.    My husband thought that …
review by . December 01, 2009
This is yet another family-pleasing installment in this series (Can you tell I'm hoping for more?). I thought that I preferred the first one to this one, but after watching this again, it sure does stand up. I think that it has even more laughs than the first. Hank Azaria is absolutely fantastic as Kahmunrah (sp?), and there's a battle of the night guards scene between Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill that is not to be missed.    I think that the first one has a bit more heart, but …
review by . November 21, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I had the unique pleasure of watching this movie in the Smithsonian's IMAX theater. Perhaps it was the surroundings, but I found myself enjoying the movie quite a bit. It's got a great mix of action, romance, and comedy for both kids and adults. It's the type of movie that I hope Hollywood makes more of - decent movies that the whole family can enjoy without any sexual undertones.    Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian builds upon the last movie, Night at the Museum, …
About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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Ben Stiller returns to Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as Larry Daley, the unfortunate night watchman who continues to encounter living and breathing museum exhibits. The film brings the Smithsonian to life, the world's largest museum complex with more than 136 million items in its collections, ranging from the plane Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) flew on her non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic to Dorothy's ruby slippers and Fonzie's jacket from Happy Days.

As caretaker of the Smithsonian, Larry faces conflict when an evil Pharaoh comes to life with the reestablishing of a tablet as a magical force in the museum, bringing the old exhibits (such as Theodore Roosevelt and Dexter) and new exhibits (like General Custer and Al Capone) back to life. Larry enlists the help of Amelia Earheart, who he later develops a romantic interest in, and together they try to put the museum back in order.

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