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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  22 May 2009 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 109,705 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 205 user | 183 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

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Cast

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Kahmunrah / The Thinker / Abe Lincoln (voice)
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Storyline

Ben Stiller returns as night watchman Larry Daily, now a successful business man, who gets back to the museum just in time to find that he needs to get his friends out of trouble. This new installment takes us to the Smithsonian, and introduces us to new characters, such as Amelia Earhart, General Custer, and many more!

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the lights go off the battle is on.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild action and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 May 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Another Night  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£4,160,496 (UK) (22 May 2009)

Gross:

$177,243,721 (USA) (30 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The motorcycle that Larry uses as a getaway vehicle is a rare 1942 Harley Davidson XA Military Side Valve 750cc Flat Twin with attached sidecar. This was Harley's copy of the German BMW/Zundapp military motorcycles. See more »

Goofs

When the Wright Flyer is flying in the National Air and Space Museum, the timing chain is moving. While outside the chain has stopped moving, although the propellers are still turning. There is nothing in the plot to indicate that they ran out of gas. See more »

Quotes

Larry Daley: Sorry, I don't mean to stare. You just look very familiar.
Woman: I get that a lot.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is an extra scene during the credits where Sailor Joey Motorola is seen reverse-engineering Larry Daley's cell-phone. He says to his mother (off camera) "I think I'm on to something!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Gloriana
Written by Mark Ford and Stephen Metcalfe
Performed by the London Studio Orchestra and The Purcell Singers
Courtesy of Nathan D. Duvall and Corner Stone Cues
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Poorly manufactured sequel that stays bearable with a few good characters
8 January 2010 | by (IL, USA) – See all my reviews

The first "Night at the Museum" worked despite conventions for a few reasons, but the main one was that it eased into its premise of museum exhibits coming to life and didn't take it for granted like "Night of the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" does. I'm actually surprised the writers of the first film wrote this sequel, because Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant handle these characters like they're someone else's creation and they can butcher them all they want.

"Night at the Museum 2" sucks the magic out of the original and overdoses on characters as well as meandering sarcasm and awkward humor. Save some bright spots in character acting from a delightful and plucky Amy Adams and some bright spots from Hank Azaria and Christopher Guest, "Smithsonian" will disappoint most defenders of the first film -- except kids and anyone else who'll bite on an outrageous premise.

Ben Stiller stars again as Larry Daley, only our beloved night security guard has randomly become a mastermind of As Seen on TV products. That decision alone completely destroys the continuity between this film and the last, forcing Larry's story to be something totally different than the single dad trying to be a role model for his son. Now son is hacking into the Smithsonian Institute floor plans to direct his dad to the location of the tablet that brings things to life at night. See the Museum of Natural History is going digital and all the beloved characters of the first film are shipped to the national archives in DC, only that naughty monkey brought the tablet with him and so the Smithsonian has come to life.

Our source of conflict is the Pharaoh at the Smithsonian, Kahmunrah, played by Azaria doing his best Stewie Griffin impression, who wants the tablet to unleash his army, so he gets help from Napoleon, Ivan the Terrible (Guest) and young Al Capone. At least director Shawn Levy realized the asset they had in Azaria and had him voice a couple other key statues that come to life later on. Azaria's too good for this film, really, but he plays at its level instead of pushing it and even manages a few of the better laughs when he puts a major diss on Darth Vader.

Then there's Amy Adams, the lone diamond in a sea of forced comedy and excessive cameos. It might seem like loving Adams is the "it" thing, but she brings the imaginative spirit sorely lacking in the film as Amelia Earheart. Every time she speaks it literally feels like the film gets more believable because she's such a convincing spirit. She also gets to work her best Katherine Hepburn impression to boot.

But "Smithsonian" is more defined by its disappointments and synthetic sequel material. Lennon and Garant try and include too many characters between the old ones and the new ones and the film just feels chaotic. It's like a contest to see how many new ideas of different things they can bring to life from paintings and photos on the wall to historical monuments in DC.

Worst of all, it's completely rushed. Understood that we get the coming-to-life premise and we aren't going to be surprised by it, but they take all the fun out of it. Levy figures a shot a piece of the statues of Amelia and Bill Hader's Col. Custer are adequate foreshadow, but they're not. Daley just cons his way into the archives and the story rockets right into the Smithsonian with a few quick facts about what it is to provide context.

"Night at the Museum 2" does just about everything we used to be terrified of sequels doing in the '90s -- overdoing it and diverting from the core values that won some love for the original because that film wasn't just about things coming to life.

~Steven C

http://moviemusereviews.com


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