Starring: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Steve Coogan, Jonah Hill, Christopher Guest, Bill Hader, Ricky Gervais
Written By: Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant
Directed By: Shawn Levy
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Buy On Amazon.com
A sequel to Night at the Museum was inevitable. It was a smash hit, and a film that the whole family could enjoy. I thought it was okay but not one of Stiller’s best films. The problem with most sequels is they try to do too much and make things bigger but sometimes it doesn’t work out. I feel Battle of the Smithsonian is on par with the first movie, since I think both could have been better.
In a sense, Battle of the Smithsonian is essentially the same movie as Night at the Museum because it’s really the same plot device (that tablet). It’s just in a bigger setting, this time at the Smithsonian, Air & Space museum and The Federal Archives. Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) isn’t working at the Natural History museum anymore, but he’s now a successful inventor/showman who stars in many infomercials. Staring in infomercials is success? Anyway, Larry pays the museum a visit when his old, cranky boss Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais) tells him he’s replacing all his old exhibits with state of the art exhibits instead.
All the old exhibits get moved down to the Smithsonian in D.C. While hanging out with his son, Larry gets a call from the miniature cowboy Jedediah Smith (Owen Wilson) and tells him there in trouble from another Egyptian, Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), who wants the golden tablet to raise the dead. Or something. So Larry treks down to D.C to help them all out and ends up getting in a long battle with the evil pharaoh. He gets help from Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), Custer (Bill Hader), an octopus, and the usual gang like Octavius (Steve Coogan), Dexter the monkey and other characters from the last movie. Amelia Earhart loves being on a new adventure and has a fun time of fighting along side Larry. Larry and Amelia try to hurry before the sun comes up so they can take down the pharaoh before he gets a hold of the tablet.
Battle of the Smithsonian had its moments and the kids will no doubt like this. I feel the same way as I did after I saw the first movie. It was okay, had its moments & great special effects and few funny parts but I was expecting something better. Ben Stiller has been better, and feel his character just isn’t that good in these movies. Maybe it’s the character and not so much Stiller that I don’t like? All the wacky animated museum characters are what people want to see though. Amy Adams was a great addition to the cast. Not just because she’s wearing skin tight aviator pants, although that does help, but because it was fun to watch her on the screen. Hank Azaria was okay as the evil pharaoh but feel his voice was a bit irritating. The guy has a plethora of voices, and he chose that one? It was kind of strange to see Custer in the movie, given the fact that I can’t stand him and think he was a scumbag who deserved what he got. They couldn’t have picked another general? But in the movie, he was funny because he was played by Bill Hader.
I felt some of the older characters like Teddy, Rex and others should have been used more in some way. Instead we just got to see those particular characters in the beginning and end. The sequence that I really enjoyed was the Air and Space museum stuff. Seeing all those planes and pilots taking off at the same time was both amusing and fun to see. It’s also the highlight of the special effects as well. The Abe Lincoln stuff was good too, as well as scenes with Octavius. I really liked the end scene when Octavius frees Jedediah and they are fight against someone in slow-mo, 300-style! It’s funny because they are the size of ants and think they are doing damage to these guys’ feet. Another scene I enjoyed was when Amelia and Larry go into the famous NYC WWII photograph. I think if they make another movie, it has to be about paintings in the next time. Night at MOMA? Night at the Louvre? One scene I thought should have been cut was the singing cherubs’ scene. Why have a bunch of animated cherubs singing to the cast members? What’s the point of it? It was stupid and shouldn’t have been included.
I was disappointed in the extras. There’s 20 minute behind the scenes look, and some other things on disc 1. Disc 2 was pretty much pointless and really dumb. An entire disc filled with monkey extras. I don’t care for the Monkey and don’t want a whole disc filled with extras about him. Obviously that disc is meant for the kids and that’s it. I felt there should have been a bit more on the special effects, but there are a few other decent things like gag reel, deleted scenes and alternate ending.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian has its moments, and is something to put on when you’re bored. I don’t think it’s a particular good movie, but it’s not outright bad either. The special effects were really good and sell the movie…well besides seeing Amy Adams in skintight aviator pants. Buttastic!
– Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian
-Commentary by Director Shawn Levy
-Commentary by Writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
-The Curators of Comedy: Behind the Scenes of Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
-5 Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Shawn Levy
Night At The Museum Monkey Mischief Bonus Disc
-Show Me The Monkey Featurettes
-Primate Prima Donnas
-The Secret Life of a Monkey Movie Star: Life Off Camera
-Monkey Slap Game
-Abel and Dexters Flights of Fancy
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround
Bottom Line: Entertaining but could have been a lot better
Running Time: 105 mins