Manny, Sid, and Diego discover that the Ice Age is coming to an end, and join everybody for a journey to higher ground. On the trip, they discover that Manny, in fact, is not the last of the wooly mammoths.
Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, four animals from New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar, among a bunch of merry lemurs
Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style.
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!
The smoke in the Air and Space Museum was created by crew members. See more »
The WWII Tuskegee airmen are wearing modern USAF flight jackets with Velcro. Although Velcro was invented in 1941, it was not patented and in common use until the 1950s. The same jacket has a 50-star flag patch, but there were not 50 states until 1959, 14 years after WWII ended. See more »
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Underdeveloped Plot and Characters
There's an old saying in Hebrew that claims that if you try and catch as much as you can, you'll end up having nothing at all. After viewing Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, I can sadly say that the same can be said when regarding this lesser sequel to the 2006 smash hit.
Even though most film critics despised the original movie, the first Night at the Museum was actually one of my favorite films of that year. For me, the film worked on two levels. First, by waking the inner-child in all of us and making us feel the magic Ben Stiller's character Larry experiences once the exhibits in his museum come to life in all their glory in front of him. Second, by telling a very straight-out and heart warming coming of age story of a grown-up divorced man who has to take control of his life and get his act together (with the museum working more as a metaphor of sorts). I also related to the additional educational values the film had to offer, another theme I felt received a lesser emphasis in the sequel.
In the second installment of the Night of the Museum series, much of the initial magic is already lost from the get-go. We already know the artifacts come to life and how, and the general feeling of suspense is gone. To make things worse, the whole story feels convoluted and unreal. We're expected to believe that Larry has turned from a no-good night guard at the museum in the first film to this mega-successful businessman in the second installment during the course of only a few years (and after being a virtual nobody for the vast majority of his life). I mean come on, Hollywood - Where did the charming loser from the first film go so quickly? Stiller's Larry is hardly likable at the beginning, and once he learns that his lovable exhibits/friends are moving to the Smithsonian museum (after the Museum of Natural History closed for technological renovation) things start happening so fast, that his motives for leaving his comfortable job to help rescue his friends are left undeveloped and unconvincing.
The main course of this sequel is of course the special effects created by the two museum's re-animated exhibits, with the evil Egyptian Kamunrah (The Simpson's Hank Azaria) acting as the main villain who operates the evil Smithsonian exhibits who strive for world domination yadda yadda yadda. Some effects are cute (Al Capone's gangsters brought back to life in black and white, the heroes entering an old painting, the Lincoln memorial rising from his chair, amongst others) and some are once again undeveloped and underused. At times, it seems so much is happening on the screen, that you don't really know where to look or who to concentrate on. Many returning characters from the first film are outrageously underused (including Robin Williams' Teddy Roosevelt and Owen Wilson's Jedediah) and many comedians who are brought specifically for the film contribute blink-and-you-miss-it performances, including Ricky Gervais and Jonah Hill). The only true contribution for the film is the lovely Amy Adams (Enchanted), who portrays a fluffy re-animated Amelia Earhart who seems more lost than ever.
To sum things up, I'd say that Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian may have been cute at times, but it was mostly useless, as it really didn't add any significant notion to the elements presented in its predecessor. While that film felt like an instant classic to me, this one felt more like a quick money-grab with a lot of missed potential.
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