Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is the sequel to Night at the Museum. It’s directed by Shawn Levy and stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais.
Night Guard Larry (Ben Stiller) has given up his job at the museum an is now successfully selling various household inventions via TV shopping channels. He hardly ever has time to visit his friends at the museum any more. But when he finally does, he finds out that most of the exhibits are supposed to go into permanent storage in the Smithsonian – without the life giving tablet. But things don’t go as planned and Larry finds himself in the middle of the Smithsonian with millions of exhibits come to life and fighting an evil pharaoh [Hank Azaria] for the tablet and the lives of his friends.
The movie is much like the first one – lighthearted fun for the whole family. Though the plot and the villain are slightly ridiculous, they’re more of an excuse to have fun with the various pieces of art in the Smithsonian anyway. And boy, did they ever! The paintings and the sculptures coming to life were brilliant. The star-studded cast was as well, especially Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan had me laughing till I cried.
The most outstanding thing about this movie was definitely how they brought the paintings and photos to life. It felt like the fantasy area of my brain would go into overload. People, those things are what films are made for! If they only showed me two hours of (famous) paintings interacting with each other, that would be an awesome movie. It made me seriously sad that I didn’t see this movie when I was a kid.
Another great thing were the sculptures: the giant balloon poodle, Rodin’s thinker, the cherubs! Abe Lincoln was impressive but almost too much.
And I have to admit that though I thought that Hank Azaria’s pharaoh was over the top (I think it was the lisp that did it), his hawk-headed warriors from the underworld were actually a little scary.
And do I actually have to talk about the cast? Yes, I’m afraid I want to! ;)
Amy Adams – so nice that she got to act for a change and didn’t have to play yet another naive, wide-eyed, a little enchanted, innocent pixie. She probably wouldn’t hav ebeen my first choice for Amelia Earhart, but she did a good job. The cameos, especially by Ricky Gervais and Jonah Hill were really funny. Bill Hader did an awesome job as General Custer.
But it was Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan who took the cake (as was the case with the first movie). Their friendship and their perfect comedic timing added a lot to the movie. Without them, both of these movies would have been only half as funny.
I think that kids will have their fun watching this one, but there’s enough in there for adults to enjoy. And even geeks get catered to – in what is probably the best Einstein and the best Darth Vader appearance on screen.
Just watch the trailer and if you don’t laugh at least once, you can’t be helped. :)
Summarising, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is a funny romp through art and history. Just ignore the plot, lean back and enjoy.