Saturday, May 23, 2009

Review: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Grade: B+

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is the follow up to the hit movie Night at the Museum. A couple years have passed and Larry Daley is no longer working at the museum. He know has a successful gadget/invention business called Daley Products. He decides to visit the museum one night and find out that it is being closed so they can install high tech upgrades. Larry also finds out that most of the exhibits are being shipped off for storage under the Washington Smithsonian museums. The next day he gets a call from one of the exhibits that there is a battle ensuing at the museum. He rushes to Washington to discover that Dexter (the monkey) had brought the tablet with him and Kahmunrah (brother of Ahkmenrah)wants the tablet in order to resurrect and army to take over the world. Larry meets Amelia Earhart and together they decide to work together to prevent Kumunrah from succeeding un his plan. What ensues is a great and hilarious battle amongst some of history's greatest figures.

If you enjoyed the first Night at the Museum then you will definitely enjoy Battle of the Smithsonian. This movie is filled with humor and adventure fueled by great actors portraying some of the most famous figures in history. There is something in this movie for everybody and if you have kids they will love it. Set in the backdrop of Washington D.C. 's Smithsonian museums and the national mall. I will admit that the writing is not all that great.

Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder, Zoolander) returns as Larry Daley, the now former night guard of the museum. Stiller gives a decent performance in Smithsonian, not his best performance but definitely not the worst. I was surprised at how few jokes went to his character. Amy Adams (Doubt, Enchanted) comes into the movie as the famous pilot, Amelia Earhart. Adams delivers yet another great performance. She is smart, funny and for lack of a better word, spunky as miss Earhart. In fact, I actually prefer her casting as Amelia over Hilary Swank who is portraying her in a movie about the pilot set to come out later this year. Owen Wilson returns as well as Jedediah Smith, the miniature cowboy. Steve Coogan comes back as Octavius, the miniature Roman commander. Both of these characters and actors are great and play very well off each other.

The rest of the supporting cast in this movie is fantastic and really helps the movie along. Christopher Guest (A Mighty Wind, Best In Show) shows up as Ivan the Terrible. Robin Williams (RV, Man of the Year) returns as Teddy Roosevelt. Bill Hader (Superbad, Adventureland) plays a brilliant version of General Custer. As well as Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Ricky Gervais, Eugene Levy (as the voice of the Einstein Bobble heads) and Clint Howard (in an ironic cameo as a NASA controller), as well as cameos from George Forman and Jonah Hill. Not to mention Hank Azaria's great performance as not one but three historical figures, Kahmunrah and the voices of Abe Lincoln and The Thinker. There were many great historical figures tossed into this movie including Amelia Earhart, Abe Lincoln, General Custer, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte, Al Capone, Attila the Hun, Sacajawea, Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch. There are also three cherubs that keep showing up that are voiced by the Jonas Brothers.

This is a great family movie filled with many laughs and plenty of excitement. I highly recommend getting out and seeing Battle of the Smithsonian this memorial day weekend. It is well worth it.

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