Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Title: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Author: Rated PG
Larry Daley, former night watchman at the Museum of Natural History, is lured back to the museum to save his friends who are being retired to the archives of the Smithsonian Institution.
Ben Stiller wrestles with extinct beasts, historical figures, and meddling monkeys in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the sequel to the popular 2006 special-effects extravaganza. This time, the ancient Egyptian tablet (the one that brings all the exhibits at New York’s Museum of Natural History to life at night) is being shipped off to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.—which, as the movie diligently tells us, is the largest museum in the world. Naturally, former museum guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) heads down to rescue it (and, by extension, keep his magical museum friends alive). He ends up fighting with a nasty pharaoh who talks like Boris Karloff (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons) and falling in love with Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams, Enchanted). All the old gang are along for the ride, including Dexter the monkey; much face-slapping and special effects ensue. There aren’t many surprises, but Battle of the Smithsonian is cheerful enough to entertain everyone who enjoyed the first movie. Extras include commentaries by the director and the writers, the usual self-congratulatory making-of featurette, deleted scenes that are actually as good as the rest of the movie, an alternate ending, and an entirely pointless second disc about Crystal, the capuchin monkey who plays Dexter (the monkey disc has less than a half-hour of material, including two mediocre games). The great supporting cast from the first movie returns, including Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, and Robin Williams. —Bret Fetzer