Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

  • 2009-05-28
  • By Laima Vaiga

BLAND NIGHT: This new adventure comedy offers magical visual effects, but not much else.

Director Shawn Levy

"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" is an adventure comedy film, starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Rami Malek, Ricky Gervais and others. It is not a bad family movie and has awesome special effects, but unfortunately lacks everything else to make it great.

The film is a sequel to the adventure comedy film "Night at the Museum," which introduced the magic of a museum brought to life every night with the help of an ancient Egyptian tablet. In the first movie, divorcee Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) tries to find a place in life and is forced to take up a job as a night security guard at the Museum of Natural History.

The second movie starts by introducing Larry as the head of successful company Daley Devices, which manufactures his inventions. Even though things are looking up for Larry, he is still reminded of his pathetic start as a night watchman. When Larry revisits the Museum of Natural History he discovers that it's being closed for renovation, with most of the exhibits to be moved to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institute of Washington D.C.

Larry brushes off any thoughts about the musuem or its miserable artifacts, but is forced to face an unavoidable dilemma after an urgent phone call for help. Without further hesitation, he cancels important meetings and rushes to the carefully guarded Smithsonian Museum. Filled with apprehension that the mysterious tablet might have fallen into the wrong hands, Larry infiltrates the maze-like musuem complex to investigate.

Amazing special effects even better than its predecessor's articulate this fast-paced film. The characters from the first film are all here, even though some of them appear only for a short time. There are so many new characters introduced that the film becomes a battle for screen time. Among them, Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), the woman who flew solo over the Atlantic Ocean. Striving for adventure, she joins Larry "for the fun of it," and sure enough, she finds it for that night, helping Larry along the way.

The film is generally very predictable and the dialogue is sometimes just too silly and artificially construed to be believable. The film also lacks a developed plot. Often it seems that there is no storyline at all and scenes are there just to introduce some character or special effect.

It is probably best to watch the film with children of 7-16 years of age, because the plot is rather childish. Visually the scenes are magical and there's plenty of goofy humor to amuse young viewers. However, some of the jokes might be too hard to understand for smaller children though, because they are mostly "talking" jokes, and the dialogues need to be followed closely to grasp the full meaning.

Now showing in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania


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