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

User Reviews

Review this title
170 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
6/10
The Smithsonian gets a treasure
bkoganbing14 July 2018
In this sequel to Night At The Museum, Ben Stiller now a millionaire who does motivational infomercials still finds time to visit his old friends at the Museum of Natural History where he made their acquaintence while working as a night security guard there.

But with his millions he can't stop changes as the Museum is now going for interactive exhibits and many are being packed away and sent to the National Archives, some for exhibit in the Smithsonian.

So Stiller goes back into action and visits the archive which is lots of underground space between the Capitol and Lincoln Memorial.

I wonder myself in both of these films was Stiller really visiting Madame Tussaud's with all the historical figures coming to life.

Theodore Roosevelt's connection with the Museum Of Natural History is well known and Robin Williams is back as our rough riding 26th president. Others are back and new ones added.

Hank Azaria is brilliant as the Egyptian prince whose incantation caused all these exhibits to come to life after sundown. He sounds like he was channeling Boris Karloff.

Amy Adams is a feisty feminist role model Amelia Earhart who gets kind of interested in Stiller. They make a good team.

As for them getting together. A gambit that Meet Joe Black and Bing Crosby's A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court used is applied here. You have to see the film to see what I mean.

A few good laughs in this nice family entertainment film.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Poorly manufactured sequel that stays bearable with a few good characters
Movie_Muse_Reviews8 January 2010
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
40 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Rather average follow-up to an entertaining film
TheLittleSongbird25 April 2011
I really liked the first Night at the Museum, not bowled over, but very entertained. It had great special effects and it was great to see childhood legend Dick Van Dyke again. I was looking forward to this sequel, hoping for the same sort of entertainment. This is not a terrible film by all means, but as a sequel and film I couldn't help feeling disappointed.

Granted, the special effects were absolutely wonderful, and the cinematography, locations, costumes, sets and editing striking. Granted, the score was rousing and fun, and most of the direction solid. And granted the actors give it their all, Ben Stiller is solid if occasionally going overboard, Amy Adams and Hank Azaria are absolute hoots and Robin Williams returns as Roosevelt and along with Azaria is the standout of the actors playing the historical figures.

However, the recurring support cast aren't given much to do excepting Robin Williams, Owen Wilson is rather annoying, Napolean and Al Capone are written as quite badly-written caricatures and don't get me started on the Jonas Brothers, their presence added absolutely nothing to the proceedings and they were not funny at all. And if only there was a story and script that were consistently engaging, but the script and sight gags are very hit and miss and the story is thin, and these are further disadvantaged by the overlong length, tacky ending and too many scenes that drag.

In conclusion, watchable but quite average. 5/10 Bethany Cox
14 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Underdeveloped Plot and Characters
saarvardi22 May 2009
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.
114 out of 200 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Exceeded my Expectations
bjohnt22 May 2009
When I saw the trailer for this, I was pretty excited. I loved the whole premise of the first one, and having a sequel opened up whole new opportunities. I was excited when I saw all these famous characters from history being mashed together, Al Capone, Napoleon Bonaparte, Amelia Earhart, to name a few.

I walked into the theater not expecting to much, but when I left I was very happy with it. They handled every characters personality beautifully, and the inside jokes were hilarious. I don't want to give much away, but trust me, you'll laugh. It tackles many themes like, a house divided cannot stand, the way to happiness is doing what you love, don't dwell on the past, etc. For a family flick they handle this jumbled cast of characters with complex personalities amazingly. They threw away most of the characters from the first movie to make way for the newer characters, which I didn't like that much, but how many characters can you throw in a story to have it make sense?

This film is an amazing example of a movie made for kids and adults. Kids will enjoy the silly humor, and the monkey. While adults will laugh at the onslaught of in-jokes, and trust me, there's a lot.

All in all, this was a great movie, blew me away. The highlight for me was Hank Azaria, that lisp kills me every time.
120 out of 189 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Automatons, Possessed Statues, or "Real" Humans? Answer: Possessed Statues.
BabelAlexandria14 May 2020
This is a fun movie, no different from its predecessor really, except the threat of "death" for the exhibits being moved to Washington, and thus unable to come to life at night through the magic of the tablet. So what is the status of these walking, talking exhibits anyway? They seem somewhere in between automatons, which can move but don't have personalities, and "real" humans, who are always animated, not just at night. The solution, I think, is to consider the Opening of the Mouth Ritual, especially given the movie's ancient Egyptian thematics. That involved animating a statue with the soul of the departed. So the Teddy Roosevelt statue, for example, would be possessed by the soul of Teddy Roosevelt.

We enjoyed that this took place in the Smithsonian, as we were planning to visit D. C. for the Cherry Blossom festival. Then COVID-19 happened!

Seb's rating: 7 stars Sienna's rating: 7stars Paul's rating: 7 stars.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Funny sequel as amusing and spectacular as the original
ma-cortes25 July 2010
Entertaining film with adventures, action, amusement and full of imagination and fantasy . This sequel concerns about the divorced father named Larry (Ben Stiller) and his son , now he's a successful manager and left his job as night vigilance at Museum of Natural History of New York City. But his allegedly easy life results to be a roller-coaster when encounters what an Egyptian pharaoh (Hank Azaria who also plays The Thinker and Abe Lincoln) threatens to kill Jedediah (Owen Wilson). Again the ancient animals,beasts,historic personages and miniature are brought to life originating wreak havoc and complications for the unlucky ex-night watchman. Thus several animals and historic characters come to life , like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a giant octopus ,monkeys, besides Neardenthal cavemen, Vikings, Attile(Patrick Gallaher) and the Huns, Sacajawea(Mizuo Peck), Teddy Roosevelt(Robin Williams)and Octavius(Steve Coogan) and a cowboy(Owen Wilson) , Octavio (Steve Coogan) and George Armstrong Custer (Bill Hader). The peculiar personages of the Museum that Larry watched are being replaced by holograms and sent to Smithsonian Museum , the biggest of world located in Washington. There ours friends along with Abe Lincoln,the Thinker and some flying Angels confront evil pharaoh (Hanz Azaria), Napoleon (Alain Chabat), Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest), Al Capone , among others . Meanwhile Larry Daley falls in love with the famous heroine Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) .

This blockbuster displays action, adventures ,fantasy and an enjoyable father-son relationship . This fantastic film starts splendidly and goes on in a real sense of wonder and magic , winds up an overlong bombastic wild ride made by means of magnificent special effects and with an exciting final pursuit . Spectacular images and computer generator set pieces action with several known personages and animals can not erase the charm of characters and ideas especially in the hands of peerless casting . Glamorous and luxurious cinematography by John Schwarzman and moving musical score by the composer of the previous film , Alan Silvestri, Robert Zemeckis's usual musician. The picture is marvelously realized with phenomenal production values and well directed by Shawn Levy . Shawn is an expert on familiar genre as he proved in ¨ Cheaper by the dozen¨,¨Pink Panther¨,¨Just married¨ and of course ¨Night at the Museum I¨. The film contains numerous scenes have you on the edge of your seat with a stunning array of overwhelming images to be enjoyed for all family.
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Everything that's wrong with movies today
intelearts3 June 2009
NATM2 is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination - but the special effects are so in your face all the time that there's never a chance to enjoy the amazing wizardry.

For us it was just too fast ', too frantic, no-one got any development, and all the actors have become line givers for the next piece of hocus-pocus.

Plot was fine, ideas abundant, some even really good - but we left feeling a) breathless and b) stuffed.

Much too much, even for the shortest most demanding attention span. The film replaced movie magic (And it has the makings of it) with slight of hand tricks.

At best fluff, at worst, a real headache. Sorry, but the kids found it all too much too...
34 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
More Of The Same But On A Grander Scale - Which Isn't A Good Thing!
sddavis6331 December 2009
I was not tremendously taken with the original "Night At The Museum." I liked its whimsical and fun take on the whole concept, but thought it just became too repetitive, as Larry returned to the museum night after night to basically do the same things. This sequel solved the problem of repetitiveness. It's based around the events of a single night - this time at the Smithsonian - but it goes overboard in other ways.

The basic story is that the exhibits have been moved from the Museum of Natural History in New York to the Smithsonian Archives in Washington. Knowing what this will lead to, Larry (again played by Ben Stiller) - who's now a successful inventor - heads off to Washington to try to keep everything under control. This being the Smithsonian, of course, there are a lot of exhibits, and they all come to life, and for reasons I didn't fully understand even some things outside the Smithsonian come to life (like the granite statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial.) This time, though, the sense of fun and whimsy is largely gone (which is a real loss) and a serious battle emerges between the good guys (led largely by the group from the first movie, supplemented by Amelia Earhardt and General Custer along with Lincoln) and a group of evil ones led by Egyptian King Kahmunrah, backed up by Al Capone, Ivan the Terrible and Napoleon. Frankly, the battle goes on far too long and becomes rather dull as well as just plain silly by the time it's over.

There are some good things in this. Hank Azaria's lisp as Kahmunrah was funny at first, although it did get a bit tired after a while, Octavius riding into battle on a squirrel got a chuckle and one has to say that Amy Adams was cute as a button as Earhardt. Still, that's not enough to save this sequel. 3/10
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Disappointingly flat for a comedy
Gordon-1112 August 2009
This film is about the battle between various exhibits to save the world from evil power.

"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" unfortunately falls way short of my expectations. The first "Night at the Museum" was good, as the idea was novel and it was packed with fun adventures. That story unfolded nicely, like removing the wrapping paper to reveal pleasant surprises.

The sequel does not achieve the same. It has a flat and boring plot. Nothing unfolds but just happens for no reason. There are little fun moments, and the supposed jokes fail to make anyone laugh. The childish arguments that happens not once but twice in the movie are simply annoying. Furthermore, moving statues lost its novelty. The "new" elements in the movie are lifted straight from "Harry Potter" films and "The Mummy" films, making "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" so lame. Most parts of the movie bored me.
11 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Surprisingly enjoyable. Solid. Better than the first!
bopdog22 May 2009
The first movie was OK. This is better. using any of the standard intellectual or even aesthetic criteria for judging "art," and films, this film should be a mere trifle, a piece of meaningless fluff. Well, it kind of is all that. But as I was leaving the theatre I realised that I had noticed the time, and was amused and engaged throughout. And I felt good. It was that simple.

I can sort of explain the good vibes this film generated--- there are lots of great comedy character actors doing great work. The humour is mild, but not insultingly vapid. This movie doesn't have a mean bone in its body. It was good natured, and therefore somewhat life affirming. Maybe "inspiring" would be going too far (yep--- that would be totally too far!), but it did perform the tasks I required of it. It engaged me, amused me, and entertained me.

The actors are worth hearing and seeing. Amy Adams is adorable always, and here as Amelia Erhhardt. Ben Stiller is great, too--- he CAN be annoyingly negative in some of his comedy writing and portrayals. He has demonstrated that he thinks frustration and anger are good sources for humour--- a mistaken notion, in my view. Here, however, he is light, solid, and thoroughly palatable. I liked him here, and never even cringed once! Well done!
30 out of 61 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Fun, Adventurous but not that big of a deal
bearfaceproductions22 May 2009
Honestly, I knew that this movie wasn't a big of a deal from the start. The movie is a little action packed and somewhat fun, but in comedy this movie fails. I did get a few chuckles but not much else and I barley heard the audience laugh. This movie's plot is not that good neither. However the movie had some new things to offer, which were very well made. The special effects were very well made, this was one of the reasons that this movie was fun. The children might find this movie very fun since its made especially for them. Ben Stller should stop doing these movies because the first one was the one that had many unexpected things but the plot in this movie is very well known and the ending is very obvious.If you plan on watching this movie, take the kids and leave your adulthood at door but don't expect much else. I still think that the first movie was better than this one.
37 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
The Battle to Stay Awake
Simon_Says_Movies12 June 2009
At the very least, the follow up to the comedy hit Night at the Museum could have directly copied its predecessor and still made the green. But in attempting to one-up itself, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian directly copies its predecessor in spirit, while simultaneously being even worse in practice than the already obnoxious original.

I have quite literally never seen a film flaunt its budget so shamelessly. Museum 2 slides from unnecessary effects sequence to unnecessary effects sequence, many of which aren't even that impressive. Add in about fifty too many characters, a dull lead, tedious pacing and stale humour and you have an experience that strangely I cannot call outwardly bad but is simply banal and monotonous in the worst way. Even the central players, Ben Stiller as Larry Daley and Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart, can't have more than 20 minutes of screen time each. It is as if the filmmakers went to the Smithsonian wrote down every single display and said "alright, lets fit these all into the movie". The whole film feels like it was sponsored by the Smithsonian and that flaw infused with the inflated budget leads to an endlessly fragmented endeavour. As if it was simply the aforementioned exec reading off the list of exhibits for the entire running time.

The plot is actually non-existent. The tablet of Ahmunrah from the original has been shipped to the Smithsonian along with all his faux friends from the Museum of Natural History in NYC, where Daley has moved on from to become an inventor. After finding out the news he then rushes to Washington to save them. But a struggle erupts between the bad and good displays as they come to life during the night. End plot and let the battle begin. All I can say is thank god that Hank Azaria is in this film (he plays the evil Egyptian conqueror Kahmunrah) because is he was absent this would have been utterly, utterly disastrous (more so than it already is). I believe I laughed exactly four times (in addition to Azaria's scenes), once at a fairly inspired 300 reference, at a cameo from Jonah Hill, a sequence with some bobble-head Einstein's and a few gags with Larry and his flashlight. That is about a laugh every half hour in a film that was already far too long.

At the very least when you have a movie like this there is a chance for redemption with a strong lead, which Stiller does not supply. He is doing it for a paycheque and boy does it show. Adams as Earhart is fine (but actually a tad slutty) and the budget also seems to also have covered cheques for about every single comedian working in Hollywood from stars of The Office, to Bill Hader, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, et al. Cameos, famous exhibits, effects, and the 'story' all combine into nothing; a tedious, soulless and uninspired film that somehow manages to squander the cast effortlessly. The only battle I will ever admit to being associated with was the battle to stay awake.

Read all my reviews at: simonsaysmovies.blogspot.com
31 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Clever and colorful but not quite as good as the original...
Doylenf3 June 2009
Before the credits are even over, one gets the impression that all of the sight gags from the original NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM are going to be transferred to The Smithsonian from The Museum of Natural History when the move is made, but fortunately, that's not true. There are some very clever touches to this sequel and the story itself varies considerably.

The touches include such historical figures as Al Capone (only seen in B&W although surrounded by color), Ivan the Terrible (nicely played by Christopher Guest), Amelia Earhart (crisply played for comic effect by Amy Adams), and George Armstrong Custer. All get the laughs intended, including Darth Vader who may or may not be historical but is certainly well known to fans of this sort of spoof.

And last, but not least, is the astonishing job done to allow Abraham Lincoln to walk about freely after getting up from the Lincoln Memorial and interacting with others for the grand finale, still keeping his sculptured appearance intact, thanks to Hank Azaria.

The most imaginative sequence of all has the famous B&W photo of a sailor kissing a girl in Times Square on VJ day, magically entered by our hero and his companion (Earhart) so that they become part of the celebrating crowd in that B&W sequence. When Ben Stiller leaves behind his mobile phone the sailor retrieves it, wondering what it can possibly be. Clever bit.

But mostly, it's a sketchy sort of plot that has all of the familiar goings on in the original film repeated in different ways by many of the original characters. And again, the zany antics all revolve around getting hold of that tablet. However, among the newer creations, Hank Azaria does a commendable job of bringing his ancient Pharoah to life. He's a man who wants to bring to life an "Army of the Dead" so that he can use the powerful tablet for his own selfish means. Azaria makes the right decision to play the character in Boris Karloff's voice, even down to the Karloff lisp. He's a standout in the supporting cast.

Kids should love it. Once again, no expense has been spared to bring the Smithsonian and the other museum to life and this time there's a nice twist to the story with the Earhart character endearing herself to Stiller in time to give the ending a romantic feeling. One of the disappointing aspects--Ricky Gervais doesn't get to be as comically effective as he was in the first film.

In many ways, not quite up to the original, but still provides a good measure of entertainment although there are times when almost too much is going on.
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Shallow Entertaining Fare for the Family
3xHCCH1 June 2009
We have not watched the first Night at the Museum, but decided to watch this Part 2 anyway. This sequel touches on what happened in the first movie a lot, so I had to assume a lot of what happened. Nothing really too deep I expect. I think the kids just glossed over the storyline, and had fun with individual funny sequences about the main point of the movie, which is about the exhibits of a museum coming to life because of the powers of an ancient Egyptian tablet.

This is just one fun romp. This takes place several years after the first movie, where ex-security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) now owns his own successful manufacturing company. However, he finds out that his old "friends" at the New York Museum of Natural History, led by the cowboy Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and the centurion (Steve Coogan), were being moved to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.

When Jedediah and company arrive in DC though, they were held captive by the evil Pharoah wanna-be Kahmunrah who wants the powerful Egyptian tablet for his own nefarious schemes. And it is up to Larry to help his friends escape and to defeat Kahmunrah and his henchmen (Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte and a black and white Al Capone).

Not having seen the first movie, we were impressed by the special effects of the living exhibits. Most memorable are the sequences involving the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial and the flying of various generations of aircraft at the Air and Space Museum. There were unfortunately several sequences that seemed pointless and dragging, especially those involving Custer, and the squirrel.

There were stupidly hilarious scenes with the Jonas Brothers as singing Cupids, the talking Albert Einstein heads and the two capuchin monkeys slapping Larry silly. Some sight gags work, a lot do not though. Amy Adams makes a very spirited and sassy Amelia Earhart. Hank Azaria plays Kahmunrah with tongue in cheek, very sinister yet very funny with his little lisp. Ben Stiller though looked bored in reprising his starring role.

Overall, an enjoyable movie. A message is tacked on about going for what adds spice to one's life. There is nothing too serious or useful here. Just some shallow entertainment fare for a lazy afternoon for a few good laughs with the family.
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Stiller Going Strong
ajaymittal20 May 2009
In a world where unnecessary sequels are plaguing the movie world and are seemingly released for little other reason than to milk the 'cash cow', Night at the Museum 2 is a refreshing exception (unlike Meet the Parents 2,3,4...). It's arguably better than the first.

Although better on different levels…The historic characters are not just new and improved but also come with a greater comic value. In what the film lacks in a relatively mundane storyline, it compensates with a wonderful underlying message/moral. There's also a love story again but what struck me as more potent was the greater bond that exists between the rest of the characters; Larry and Jedediah, Jedediah and Octavius etc. The score/music was noticeably better as well, very listenable. Of course the whole picture was far more 'epic' and I, for one, am a fan of this. On the face of this, its a comedy blended perfectly with action like a cocktail of strawberry and champagne – and very much like Tropic Thunder (although on a different level of course). Hank Azaria was brilliant as Kahmunrah especially in the way he could turn from serious evil to light-hearted joker in the blink of an eye. Speaking of which, him and his trio of evil helpers were fantastic together, as am sure you'll all agree.

The one downside is that too many of the best comedy moments were shown in the trailers, so kind of dampening the effect of many of the genuinely funny moments. But there's still enough to keep you chuckling away! So should there be a third? If they can continue to make people laugh whilst rummaging through their popcorn during the action scenes, I'd day why not? After all, what is life without a bit of fun?
57 out of 112 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
An Afternoon in the Theater: The Battle to Stay Amused
Digory22 May 2009
I should have trusted the reviews because this movie was dragging me down the seat.

I love Ben Stiller but he just didn't shine here. With all the historical figures having to make an appearance, poor ol' Ben drowned in the confusion of this fast-paced pointless sequel. Amy Adams was nearly taking over the film and although she was lovely in Enchanted, she was trying too hard to be an enthusiastic fly-girl here, which annoyed me a lot. There were only about two to three scenes I found to be very funny, the rest I fought to keep myself entertained.

They shouldn't have gone with the Kahmunrah plot. It was a gimmicky and far-fetched move, and it wasn't working one bit. The Underworld was also absurd and didn't fit well with the theme of the movie.

They recycled a few things from the first. It didn't get old but 3 out of how many attempted gags is far from satisfactory.

From Tropic Thunder to this. No more Nights at the Museum. Ben Stiller should go back to pure comedy.
41 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Amy Adams saves the day
SnoopyStyle18 October 2013
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has moved on from his night watchman job. The American Museum of Natural History is closed for renovations. The exhibits are moved to the Smithsonian in Washington where they must battle the forces of evil Pharaoh Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) for the Tablet of Ahkmenrah.

Basically it's a story looking for an excuse to bring in new characters and a new location. A lot of the charm is missing mainly due to the fact that many of the characters are separated and reduced in role. There is one great addition. Amy Adams is fantastic as Amelia Earhart and she makes a great duo with Ben Stiller.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Don't listen to the negative reviews - it's a great movie for both adults and children
bellino-angelo201425 January 2019
I really really loved the first NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, it was funny, fast-paced, enjoyable, with great CGI effects and with some great performances. And until I saw the sequel I had very high hopes and I was really pleased at the end of the first viewing.

In BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN Larry Daley left the night watchman job for becoming a flash-light salesman. Unfortunately when he returns to the museum, everything changed for worse: all the exhibits are ready to be transferred to the Smithsonian Museum while the New York museum is under reparations' work. When Larry follows his friends to the Smithsonian he has to fight (along with the exhibits there that are George Armstrong Custer, a HUGE octopus, some air force men, various statues) the evil pharaon Kahmunrah and Al Capone, Ivan the Terrible and Napoleon and their respective armies.

What I liked of this movie are the various new characters, both good and bad, and the strange exhibits of the Smithsonian. The cast is good as always, even though Ramy Malek and Robin Williams have their roles reduced, but Amy Adams sizzles as Amelia Earheart, giving here another good performance.

In substance, one of the best sequels ever and it lives up to the predecessor? Yes. Worth a watch like the other two movies in the franchise.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
More lighthearted fun.
lewiskendell15 May 2010
I really like this series. I never expected to enjoy the first Night at the Museum as much as I did, but I was pleasantly surprised by how funny it was. It could have just been a phoned-in kid's movie, but it ended up being one of the uncommon live-action family movies that's truly enjoyable for all ages. I think that it and Enchanted are the only two recent movies that fit that bill.

I had heard that Battle of the Smithsonian doesn't quite live up to the original movies, and in some ways, that's true. A few (well, slightly more than a few) of the jokes fall horribly flat, some of the characters are extraneous and unnecessary, and the story has to jump through several hurdles just to provide a reason for this sequel's existence. But with all that, I still really liked it.

Adding Amy Adams and making her a main character was an absolutely brilliant idea. The woman has never been less than perfect in any movie that she's been in, and I can't think of a better actress to play Amelia in a lighthearted way. Plus, an entire trilogy could be dedicated to her butt in those pants. Good Lord! Hank Azaria was fantastic as well, and most of the biggest laughs of the movie involve him. The other new additions are either less noteworthy or not noteworthy at all, but those two alone made Smithsonian worth watching.

I'll admit that Battle of the Smithsonian was a little too busy and too crowded, but I still found myself laughing and laughing. I'd put it only a bit behind the first movie in terms of quality, and on my scale that makes it a success.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
More of the same stuff
changmoh21 May 2009
The 2006 original was a fun-filled fantasy trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York. It was a blast for both the kids and the adults when the exhibits, especially the T-Rex and President Teddy Roosevelt, come to life that Night At The Museum.

This sequel basically shifts the action to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC where we get more of the same "Jumanji"-type action - without much cerebral input into the plot. In fact, the whole second installment looks uninspired and uninspiring. We don't feel for the characters, not even Ben Stiller's Larry Daley as he tries stir up another frenzy among the animated exhibits. As a sequel, it is rather stale because it does not have a plot that is engaging enough for its stunts. The gags are mostly repetitive - like Kahmunrah's lisping, Amelia's 'ready-for-anything' attitude, etc. There is never a sense of danger in the proceedings - and Larry's presence in the story seems superfluous.

The action remains a comic book adventure - and the mandatory twist at the end merely helps to ease our way out of this juvenile treat.
19 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Ben without Robin
kosmasp16 August 2009
What is really important when you do a sequel? Apart from the already established characters, it is absolutely necessary to introduce new faces, new people, who will have room to "evolve" (no pun intended). And Night 2 tries hard. But it is a bit of a shame, that in the process beloved characters suffer and don't the screen time they deserve to get in this one.

Cameos plus improvised dialogue included. One particular scene sticks out, also shown in the trailer, where Ben Stiller acts as if he would touch something in a museum, although that ain't allowed. The mentioned scene seems a bit too long, but serves the story in the end. It is a nice fun ride and a few bumps along the road are normal. The jokes work (most of the time) and some fun characters make great short appearances (bobble heads anyone?). And since the movie was somewhat successful, I'm sure there will be another sequel.
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Uneven Sequel of an Entertaining Movie
claudio_carvalho22 August 2009
In New York, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is now a successful businessman, owner of the Daley Devices Inc. and near to close a huge transaction with the Wal-Mart. When he goes to The Museum of Natural History, he is informed that the museum will be closed for exhibition since it will be upgraded with state-of-art attractions; consequently his friends will be replaced and shipped to the Federal Archive in the underground of the Smithsonian in Washington DC. During the night, Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) tells him that the magic Tablet will stay in The Museum of Natural History; therefore his friends will not be alive again. However, on the next night, Larry receives a phone call from Jedediah (Owen Wilson) explaining that Dexter has stolen the Tablet and the wicked Pharaoh Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) and his new evil partners are attacking his friends. Larry travels to Washington and teams-up with the adventurer pilot Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) to save his friends and avoid Kahmunrah to unleash his army to conquer the world.

"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" is an uneven sequel of the entertaining "Night at the Museum". I have just watched this movie on DVD with my wife and we needed to rewind a couple of times since we had napped due to the boredom of the story which does not have a plot and is supported by special effects only. The slobbery accent of Hank Azaria performing Pharaoh Kahmunrah with a lisp is annoying. Once again the Brazilian inventor of the 14-bis Alberto Santos-Dumont, who performed the first officially witnessed takeoff and flight by a heavier-than-air aircraft, is not recognized in an American movie. The best joke of the whole story is in the credits with Joe Motorola. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Uma Noite no Museu 2" ("A Night in the Museum 2")
8 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Another night at the museum
studioAT1 January 2011
After the incredibly successful original it is no shock to see Ben Stiller back running down corridors in another museum.

All the old faces are back in this sequel and that already elevates its quality. There are some nice new characters who despite not having much screen time all add something to this very visually rich film.

Stiller doesn't seem as interested this time round which is a shame but the lovely Amy Adams more than makes up for it and steals every scene that she is in. The final moment of the film is also great with the wonderful Coldplay music.

Hank Azaria is also good fun as a very camp villain and the film moves through the gears with ease. It's a perfect family romp that could have been made at any point in history. There are enough big names to entertain adults while enough slapstick and throw away lines for the kids.

What the producers and directors have done well with both this film and the original is make films that are well made and have a lot of humour and heart. I prefer this one to the original because it doesn't feel as much of "The Ben Stiller show" and in fact the other actors overshadow him in this film.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Definitely more funny than part one, but also more ridiculous and disjointed.
TOMNEL16 June 2009
My problem with the first Night at the Museum, along with the corny dialogue and stupid scenes, was the lack of laughs. The first film possibly produced one laugh from me, where this was definitely a lot funnier. With that said, it's also a drop in quality. The whole premise is so ridiculously stupid, and various aspects of the film are almost unbearably bad and unthought out.

After being a night guard at that wacky alive museum, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is now a business tycoon with his glow in the dark flashlights. He decides to return to his old museum stomping grounds, where he finds all the museum exhibits are being moved the the Smithsonean, except for the tablet that brings them to life, so they will forever be lifeless if he doesn't do anything. After an overly long encounter with a familiar faced security guard, Larry makes his way to the Smithsonean basement, where the tablet was taken by the little monkey. Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) wants the tablet to put together an army, and in order to stop him, Larry ends up investing in the help of Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams). If he doesn't stop Kahmunrah, he'll take over the museum and kill his little buddy Jedidiah (Owen Wilson).

The fist movie was not very funny (as I stated earlier). There weren't many jokes in it, or if there were, they weren't very funny. There are probably ten times as many jokes here, but they grow old very fast. Many of the jokes are analytical, and involve a character analyzing the situation, pointing out the ridiculousness of another character or the situation. The jokes are just very corny all too often. "Hey dumb dumb, me want gum gum." was never funny, and despite the character only having a whopping three lines in the film, it's still three too many, and the joke still isn't funny. The jokes are just repetitive.

There is never any sense of danger in this movie. Hank Azaria is more of a comedian than a villain, and he had more jokes to tell than almost anyone, and he loved giving overly long comedic monologues. Ben Stiller makes sure no situation ever seems dangerous. He has an "I don't care!" attitude, which is part of his lovable, witty and sarcastic character, but it limits how believable any sort of danger can be. But then again, the fact that this is a kid's movie limits how much danger any important character can be put through anyways.

A love story between a human and a dummy brought to life by a tablet at night is not going to work out, but might as well throw it in to add to the incompetence. Amelia Earhart and Larry have a fling, and it's about as silly, contrived and corny as it sounds. Speaking of corny, Albert Einstein bobble-heads were corny and annoying. They somehow know the song "That's the Way I Like It", despite that they are supposed to be Einstein, just in bobble-head form. Apparently being brought to life in the museum gives you a head full of bad pop culture references.

For my final thought, here's what really peeved me. The Smithsonean apparently has no security cameras. At night the whole museum is alive, and nobody notices? What! That makes no sense! Then, Ben Stiller just leaves the museum to go to another part of it...they leave all the museums open at night? Or does Ben Stiller with the guard keys just have access to every one of the museums around? And the Lincoln Memorial gets up, and there is not ONE person around to see this? Not even a passing car? Nobody saw any of these museum creatures leave the museum either it appears. People say that this is a fantasy, so that's okay, but no, that's not true. This is set in reality, with the museum fantastical element. It's just dumb that no one would see this.

Overall, this is much worse than the lackluster first part. However, it is also more funny, but that's because the first part was so dry of laughs. This starts off somewhat promising, and ends up a head turned perplexing note.

My rating: * 1/2 out of ****. 99 mins. PG for mild language.
8 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed