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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 2009

Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institution in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake...

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Solar rating: 7.8


Imdb rating: 5.9

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I'm sure this movie is a good pass time for the whole family or for the kids to watch and leave mom and dad alone for 2 hours haha. A good movie.

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Two-and-a-half years ago, Night at the Museum, a lackluster, family-oriented fantasy adventure, became a surprise hit, making $250 million in North America alone and $574 million worldwide. A sequel was, of course, inevitable and a sequel is what family audiences will get this weekend with the awkwardly titled Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Not all sequels, however, are made equal. Despite reuniting director Shawn Levy, co-writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, and Robin Williams, the sequel to Night at the Museum is every bit as bland, uninspired, and inoffensive as effects-heavy, family-oriented films weighed down with $100 million plus dollar budgets frequently are.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian picks up in (almost) real time, with Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), the night guard who saved Manhattan's Museum of Natural History from slightly evil, former night guards. Daley, a wannabe inventor and single father, regained the self-confidence necessary to follow his entrepreneurial dreams and become a better father in the process. In Daley's case, he parlayed useful, if not particularly innovative, inventions into a multi-million dollar business, complete with late-night infomercial co-hosted by George Foreman, Sr. Just as Daley's about to strike a potentially lucrative deal with Wal-Mart. On a visit to the museum, the museum's director, Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais), informs Daley that the museum's board has decided to ship most of the exhibits to the Federal Archives of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for permanent storage.

Daley receives a distress phone call from Jedediah Smith (Owen Wilson), the diorama cowboy who, along with other museum exhibits, comes to life every night thanks to a magical Egyptian tablet. A newly reawakened Egyptian pharaoh, Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), hampered by a speech impediment, has imprisoned the museum exhibits. Not content to reign over the Smithsonian and the Federal Archives, Kahmunrah decides to use the tablet to open a doorway to the underworld, where an army of undead birdmen will help him conquer the world. Daley flies down to D.C., impersonates a night guard, sidesteps an actual security guard (an unbilled Jonah Hill), and before long Daley's crossed paths with Kahmunrah and Kahmunrah's allies, Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest), Napoleon Bonaparte (Alain Chabat), and Al Capone (Jon Bernthal). Larry's allies include the easily distractible Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), the perpetually vacillating General George Armstrong Custer (Bill Hader), the particularly unhelpful Thinker (voiced by Hank Azaria), and even the Lincoln Monument (Azaria again).

Sadly, it's clear from the first frame to the last that everyone involved returned for the sequel to collect paychecks and really nothing else. Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, the writers-producers behind Reno: 911 and The State, crib lines of dialogue, situations, and even visual gags from Night at the Museum, presumably to reawaken moviegoers' sense of good will, but where the first film at least had the benefit of being "new" and "fresh" (i.e., not a prequel or a sequel or an adaptation from another medium), the sequel doesn't have that benefit. Instead, Levy, Garant, and Lennon rely on stock situations, stock jokes, and stock plot turns. And when that doesn't work, they fall back on expensive visual effects, convoluted set pieces, Alan Silvestri's bombastic score, or the talented cast to carry quickly exhausted, one-note jokes. About the cleverest Levy, Garant, and Lennon get is in an all-too-brief sequence set inside Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous black-and-white, WWII photograph "The Kiss."

Of course, Levy, Garant, and Lennon are hoping family audiences will carry them over the box office finishing line. They might just work, but whatever success Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian has, it won't last past Memorial Day Weekend. Terminator Salvation, the only other major film opening this weekend, will obviously attract a different, non-family audience. All that changes next weekend: Disney/Pixar's much-anticipated tenth feature-length film, Up, will open. Up is everything Night at the Museum isn't. A non-sequel (i.e., an original film), Up offers heartfelt emotion and rousing action in equal measure. It's as visually breathtaking as its Pixar's predecessors. It's also far more dramatically and emotionally engaging than Night at the Museum 2. In other words, wait a week and get a Pixar-sized treat.
An alright movie with a few memorable moments and a multitude of lovable characters, but a poorly written plot and a vast array of plot holes keeps it from achieving what the first film did.

Fortunately, the new characters introduced held their own against the old (and not only in the literal sense, har har.) The villainous characters, especially the pharaoh, were fun to watch for the entire film. The returning characters were wonderful to see again, though their time on screen was cut drastically in favor of the new. Even then, the new characters had little time to truly be seen or be appreciated.

Even with the most casual attitudes, it's difficult to ignore the many plotholes that riddle the story. Although they may seem small, they can easily jump out even to those attempting to ignore them- A problem I had while viewing the film. Simply because the premise of museum exhibits coming to life is unrealistic, the writers are not entitled to discarding common sense. Labeling it a 'childrens film' does not entirely excuse this, either.

The parts I found most enjoyable were the ones grounded to the original characters returning from the first film, and I did not feel truly connected to the film until a return was made to the original museum. (Which, might I add, would not be possible under the time limit mentioned in a previous scene.)

Strong performances were had from everyone, which is to be expected from such an all-star cast.

Although definately not perfect and a far cry from the original, it's worth seeing at least once, maybe renting. A so-so film overall, and great to watch if not taken terribly seriously.
Same story, different museum. No chemistry. Not funny.
The Moore kids and I went to see the sequel to the "exhibits at the museum come to life" movie this afternoon (2nd film this week!) Here's my short review:

As good as, if not a little better than, the first one

Here's a little more:

The formula for this one is essentially the same, but the additional characters and locations add to the adventure.
Yes. (the) Jonas Brothers are the cherubs.
Did I notice an intentional plug for the upcoming Three Stooges film?
Favorite character (by far!) Hank Azaria as Kahmurah (He was the voice of Abe and the Thinker as well?)
Loved seeing Darth Vader -- apparently James Earl Jones was too expensive, tho.

A very satisfying film-- though I'd love to see another sequel!
I loved this movie. Since I am a history buff and love museums, it was fun for me. Also since I liked the first one I had to see this one.
"Night at the SNOOZE-eum"....'nuf said?

This is one of those time when I wish we could all ask for a refund on the way out of the movie son actually said, "Thank God it's over. Can we leave now?!"
What a waste of time and a waste of talent. Years ago, studios would make sequels, but they always did so for just profit. This is what this film felt like, almost like a made for DVD movie or a television movie that was just not very good. Lately, we've had sequels that were actually pretty good and you felt great after seeing the movie hoping perhaps that a third would movie come about because of the success of the first sequel. Well, this certainly was not one of them. They should never have made this movie. It's pleasant to look at and it will give you a laugh or two...but that's it..... Unfortunately, that's it... Ben should be ashamed of yourself!!!
Well I hope that everybody had a Good Friday. I only hope that this next review will be helpful as you choose what you see this week.

Dear Casting Director,

I appreciate the fact that you wanted to get just about every fairly well known comedian in one movie, and have some fun with it. While it was fun to see some favs like Jay Baruchal, and Thomas Lennon, it was NOT A FUN...I repeat NOT A FUN movie to watch. If you could tell the writer of this movie to find a better job because it made no sense at all. A bunch of statues trying to prevent the evil yet ridiculous Hank Azaria from bringing his friends back from the dead. As I watched this movie I noticed the dialogue between characters being extremely long, come to think of it Mr. Casting Director, with half the people in this movie being sketch comedy actors, I am wondering if 50% of this movie was not scripted, and therefore you picked live actors to play a lot of the roles, either way BAD MOVIE. I will give you credit for my boy Owen Wilson; at least he got some solid screen time, and was a part of my favorite scene alongside Steve Coogan. Steve Coogan? Yeah I know who he is, but to my fans I just want to say watch out for this guy, because he may be one of the funniest men in movies today. Great casting for them, as far as everyone else I think I lost a lot of respect for them just because there really was no need for them to be in the movie. So thanks for ruining my view of what I think are some pretty cool actors, now I just think their idiots for actually looking at this script and thinking, "OH YEAH I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT." Last thing Amy Adams was a solid choice for Amelia Airheart, next time you do casting leave her out of it she deserves better writing and directing. Thanks for your time.

Readers, Fan, everyone who dare read this blog listen up. This movie is not good. That is a lot coming from me seeing that I like a lot of movies that most people think are bad...the 6th Man. It's not as bad a Drillbit Taylor, but still its bad. I feel like the whole movie is like on run-on sentence. Sure take your kids to see it, it will waste 2 hours of your life, and you kids will just like seeing monkeys hug each other. It's a win win, you can nap, and your kid can have a good time. I wish I could say don't even rent this movie, but because I like so many people in the movie, and I really like the first one I am going to give this movie a...

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