Thursday, March 13, 2014

Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian (2009) Review

I don't remember when exactly I saw the original Night At The Museum or whether I saw the sequel first, but the one thing I do know is that I love it. It's funny, it's witty, there's lots of historical faces showing up and even an absolutely killer cameo from Darth Vader. 
Oh yeah.

The movie focuses on Larry Daley, ex-security guard in a museum where all the exhibits come to life after sundown. The museum is to be renovated and all the exhibits send to the biggest museum of the world, the Smithsonian. Unfortunately, a monkey called Dexter steals the magic tablet that makes all this happen and the whole Smithsonian comes to life.

Night At The Museum 2 feels less like a sequel and more like an expansion of the original. Most of the old cast are still there, but now there's a whole new load of heroes and villains with a new museum to go around too. They should've called this movie 2.0. 

Ben Stiller stars as Larry Daley, as lovable and goofy and focused on the mission as in the original. He also gets a romantic interest in Amy Adams who plays the wax figure of dashing Amelia Earhart.
Now, this would make sense on some level, because he's sort of her introduction to the new world... which she doesn't care about so no, it doesn't.
The movie, despite the awesomeness that the actors and dialogue imbue in it, is littered with plot holes. Are we really supposed to buy that none of these resurrected villains(Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, Al Capone etc.) don't give a crap about the outside world and take Kahmunrah's word about conquering the world at face value? No one seems to question him until the very end, it's actually quite strange.

Similarly, none of the heroes care about the real world either. Of course, as Amelia explains, they all "know" they're not the original, but why don't they just bother? Are they intentionally being different? I don't know and I doubt the writers thought of that either. It's not that kind of movie. It's a "turn your brain off and enjoy the ride" kind of movie

However, I will question the fact that not a single alarm goes off when the half the museum is destroyed in the war between Larry's and Kahmunrah's forces, not to mention no one walking past the Smithsonian and wandering about the giant airplane flying about. And where did that even get fuel?

Oh jeez... I just can't help it. Well, let's talk about the villain. Kahmunrah is the older brother of Ahkmenrah(pointless since the younger one is only in the film for two scenes) who wants to take over the world because it'd be fun. He's an intentionally bad-written antagonist. Fortunately, I don't mind hammy at all. I will understand it's not for everyone though.

One of my favourite characters in the movie was General George A. Custer, a distinguished, self-obsessed war hero  and the only one who does suffer from what happened to him in real life(leading 300 Americans to their deaths). This being Night At The Museum however, one talk from Larry changes his mind. It's super dumbed down. On. Purpose.

Overall, it's just a fun flick for your kids, but with lots of great moments and parodies of parodies. Enjoy.

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