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Night At The Museum 2 is the sequel to the original Ben Stiller movie and set a couple years after the first film. Larry, the Night Guard who had so many adventures with the exhibits that came to life at night, has moved on and is now an entrepreneur with his own brand and strap-line but something about his life is not complete and he finds himself disillusioned with his new existence. His trips to the museum have slacked off which is why he finds it a surprise to discover that many of the original exhibits are being moved to The Smithsonian where many of them will be put in storage. This essentially means that they will no longer be able to come to life as the tablet that animates them is staying behind.....
When Dexter, the mischevious stuffed Capucin, steals the tablet to go with them into storage, all mayhem ensues. Not only because all the exhibits at The Smithosian can now come to life but also because one of them is the original Pharoh's brother with plans of revenge against his sibling and the intention of opening a portal to the Underworld so that he can take over the world! Only Larry can save the day but this time he has some help from some new friends along the way.........
Night At The Museum was brilliant; funny, inventive, original and one of the best films that Stiller had been in! Museum 2 loses a bit of the magic in trying to bne bigger and bolder and brasher and though is still good, is not a patch on the first! Everything just feels a vit been there, seen it and cameos from Oscar The Grouch and Darth Vader (?!?) just seem a bit unnessecary. Stiller here is back to his annoying usual self and less charming than in the original asnd though there are still laughs, they are not as out loud or as often as in the first film!
Overall, this is a competent enough sequel and about what you might expect but this time around, some of the magic is missing.......
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has gone up in the world. Two years after his fantastical and magical experiences at the American Museum of Natural History, where all the exhibits came to life, he has gone from being a night guard to heading a manufacturing company. Daley Devices designs and produces inventions inspired by Larry's time as a night guard. Despite the success, Larry's life has become somewhat humdrum and he decides to visit his old work place. There he meets up with his old boss, Dr McPhee (Ricky Gervais), and discovers that the museum is to be fully renovated with holographic projections replacing most of the exhibits. The exhibits are to be moved to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Akhmenrah's Tablet will be left at the AMNH and continue to reanimate the few exhibits left there, Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Rexy the tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, the Easter Island Head and Akhmenrah (Rami Malek) himself. However, the rest of the exhibits will remain lifeless.
Matters turn from sad to catastrophic when Dexter, the ever-mischievous stuffed capuchin monkey, steals the tablet and takes it to the Smithsonian Institution. There he inadvertently reanimates not only he and his fellow AMNH friends but also the evil elder brother of Akhmenrah, Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) who is hellbent on getting hold of the tablet and unleashing his warriors from the underworld...
This is not the first time that Ben Stiller has appeared in an unnecessary sequel to a very successful film. "Night at the Museum 2" (aka "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian") begs comparisons with "Meet the Fockers", Stiller's follow-up to "Meet the Parents". Granted one is PG rated fantasy comedy aimed completely at the family and the other is a 12 rated "grey" comedy aimed at a more mature audience, but both are transparently driven by studio pressure to milk the franchise cash cow than to a need to continue a storyline. NATM2 didn't even have a weak opening for a sequel.
Nevertheless, on balance, NATM2 is a better second movie (whether or not it is a better movie is another argument). The reason for this is that it retains the principle strength of the MTF, but fewer of its weaknesses. The principle strength is in the casting of a new co-star. In MTF it was Dustin Hoffman who pretty much saved what was otherwise a cranked up retreading of the original "Meet the Parents". In NATM2 we have the inspired casting of Hank Azaria as the lead antagonist, Kahmunrah. Azaria has had several acting roles in feature films, but he is best known as a voice talent for "The Simpsons". I enjoyed his take on the megalomaniacal and idiotic lead villain, especially the decision to give him a Boris Karloff lisp. Fans of the Universal horror movies of the '30s and '40s will see the sly connection, as Karloff played a reanimated Egyptian in 1932's "The Mummy", Imhotep.
However, whereas Hoffman stole the show from the film's other two major stars in MTF, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, Azaria compliments Stiller's performance. Like the original, the film is choc full of cameos such as Robin Williams and Steve Coogan who reprise their roles from the first picture. Robin Williams in the Roosevelt caricatures still seems to be stuck in the movie equivalent of the sad-faced clown. After the entertaining "Mrs Doubtfire" and, no doubt, because of the over-rated "Dead Poets Society" the once bouncing ball of imaginative energy often plays the over-sentimental paragon of morality with a few comedic flaws inserted. It's a shame. The guy can be incredibly funny, as his legendary stand-up routine demonstrates, and is a good actor as can be seen in "One Hour Photo", but I am just getting sick of seeing him verging on tears every time he makes a statement. The critically acclaimed actress Amy Adams is slotted as the film's love interest, playing the role of a reanimated exhibit of Amelia Earheart, the female aviation pioneer, with old-fashioned gusto and adventurism. She is given a good deal of screen time and second billing after Stiller, her role is clearly intended to be the most important instrument for reigniting Larry Daley's interest in living a fulfilling life. Unfortunately this means that, unlike Azaria, Adams is straight jacketed into a one dimensional cliché and has little room than to anything other than act as Stiller's adventurous conscience. This could possibly be an editing decision as the ending of the film would imply that she was intended to more than this role.
Earheart, like the giant Lincoln Memorial Statue and various other historical representatives from the Smithsonian, is the personification of what she stood for in American history rather than a reanimation of the actual person. Obviously this ties in well with American family audiences and the popular US ideals of patriotism, which is often connected with the study of American history. Daley's role is also symbolic. He is representative of the wilfully shackled American spirit who has settled for compromise. It's a tone that is often reflected in Stiller's British co-stars and friends that feature in this film and its predecessor. Both Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan are famous for playing characters compromise who their ideals. However, their resulting comedies often carry bittersweet messages with the hint of sophisticated humour. This couldn't be said for "Night of the Museum 2", which - being a movie squarely targeted at the parents and kids audience - comes across as a somewhat ham-fisted lesson in the values that made the USA great. The non-American historical figures, with exception of Coogan's Octavian, are not shown in the best light. Einstein, represented by a series of bobble head souvenirs, may have the mystery to a crucial puzzle, but he is no match for the American villain Al Capone who seems to be dominant evil henchman over both Russia's Ivan the Terrible and France's Napoleon. Even famous American loser and hothead, General Custer gets a shot at redemption!
On the plus side, the film is a good fun family adventure likes its original. Its success at the box office means that another sequel is almost a no-brainer. I recommend it for the purpose it was intended. The special effects are as impressive as ever and the editing ensures that it moves on a good pace. Stiller, although in an unchallenging role, plays a sympathetic hero and his timing is as good as ever. Along with the other good points made earlier and if you can take the American worldview on history with a healthy portion of salt, any film that inspires more visitors to museums gets my vote.
Larry Daley: Ben Stiller
Amelia Earhart: Amy Adams
Teddy Roosevelt: Robin Williams
Kahmunrah: Hank Azaria
Dr. McPhee: Ricky Gervais
Jedediah: Owen Wilson
Octavius: Steve Coogan
Two years on from the first film, Larry Daley is now a household name, head of Daley Devices, which manufactures his inventions. However, when Larry returns to the museum, he finds that all of his old friends are being put into storage to make room for more up-to-date versions. And to make things worse, the tablet which brings everything to life has been stolen. With the help of Larry's new friend, Amelia Earhart, will he be able to save the tablet and his friends?
Usually, I don't necessarily enjoy sequels to films because they don't live up to their predecessor. However, this one did as it had the same basic storyline and the characters were all the same with a few added extras. The acting was amazing; Kahmunrah being a favourite with the way he spoke; everyone would find him funny. All of the characters were ones which you would tend to like, as they all had their specific qualities. Even if there is someone you dislike, there are a lot of other likeable characters. Newer characters such as Amelia Earhart are hard to relate to at first, but you soon warm to her as a great character.
The storyline is excellent; although it is pretty much another version of the first film, it's a good thing because the first one was just amazing. If the storyline had differed in any way, it would've been a totally different film and not something which you would relate to number one. The film actually keeps you hooked, and you wonder just how Larry is going to keep his friends in the museum without allowing people to know that they come alive at night!
The only downside I feel to the film is that some of the characters in the first one are not featured as much in the second. Characters such as Jedediah and Octavius are not involved with this film as much as the first, however, newer characters more than make up for this minor disadvantage.
All in all, I would fully recommend seeing this film if you have seen the first film, but if you haven't seen it, you will need to see the first one in order to fully understand this one. It is worth it though!
Well I reviewed NATM 1 earlier today after watching it last night (please give me a rating on that one) and I promised to review the second film after watching it so here goes.
NATM is a film where the exhibits at a museum comes alive due to the presence of an egyptian tablet. Larry (Ben Stiller) is the male lead as the night guard at the museum with contributions from Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Robin Williams as the exhibits come alive.
The first film ended with the tablet returned to the museum and everything appears to be set for a steady future. NATM 2 is set 2 years later and in it Larry has given up the museum and become a successful businessman. He discovers that the museum is going to put a lot of the exhibits in cold storage at the Smithsonian, the tablet gets sent with it and then the fun begins when the Egyptians older brother wakes up and discovers the power of his younger brothers tablet.
So the story moves to the Smithsonian and Washington and becomes a battle between the guard Larry and the Egyptian Kahnmurah (played by Hank Azaria). Kahnmurah recruits Napoleon, Ivan the terrible and Al Capone, Larry gets Amelia Earheart and George Custer.
The plot (if you can call it that)
Kahnmurah wants to open the gate to let in the army of dead, to do it he must interpret the tablet and get the code to open the gate. He traps Jebediah Smith (Owen Wilson) in a egg timer and gives him an hour.
Well if you liked the first you'll like the second, its good clean family fun as the old young adult films used to be described. There's plenty of chases, plenty of fights but of course no one really gets hurt and a few one liners (very few in truth). It is also visually appealing with a decent amount of effort on the correct feel for the famous museum. The cast do there best with the material and the film is funnier than the first mainly down to Hank Azaria's brilliant turn as the Egyptian with a god complex. He also plays the Abe Lincoln from the Lincoln memorial and I've been trying to work out if thats an in joke somewhere?
There is less random running around but still plenty of it and there is added dimension withmaking paintings not only come alive but allowing Larry and Amelia to enter the world of the painting.
Ben Stiller pretty much does a brilliant Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson the same and Steve Coogan is in the film far less than the first and it feels like he's a little uncomfortable in it. However, he is in it more than Ricky Gervais who is in the film for two scenes. Gervais also does a cracking turn as Ricky Gervais.
This film which in its idea is so novel somehow feels so staid and comfortable, the need to play to a younger audience gives a steady mainstream film with little edge or invention. Saying that though the younger audience will love the zany characters and outrageous props and their parents will enjoy the performance by Hank as the Egyptian especially his treatment of Napoleon. Dad's might also enjoy Amy Adams as Amelia Earheart walking around in skin tight pants.
Ben Stillers place in this film is a bit of an enigma, he plays a grumpty man with an angst who always borders on hostility, yet here he appears in a family movie. In it, he is the grinning comedy foil for the various exhibits to fire against, especially Hank as the Egyptian along with a very non-egyptian cut glass English accent.
Introducing the Smithsonian expands the film and gives it a new setting, the scenes with the Lincoln memorial Abe are fun and well done but ultimately the film is a bit of fluff to be enjoyed and then forgotten. Room for a third? Maybe but hopefully not.
I saw the first Night at the Museum a while ago so was pleased when this came through the door from my rental company for me to watch.
Larry has given up his job as night guard at the museum, as we know from the first film. He is now a high flying business man and is doing very well. His relationship with his son has improved greatly and Larry is happy. This is until he hears that the museum is undergoing a revamp and therefore a great deal of the exhibits are being shipped away from the museum and being sent to the Smithsonian to go into storage. Larry panics, knowing that the friends he made whilst working at the museum (ie. The exhibits, which actually come to life) will not be happy with this and will not be able to do anything about it.
It is up to Larry to ensure that the exhibits best interests are thought of. He goes to the Smithsonian to help them and ends up getting in a bit of bother with a Pharoah and a tablet which is of great importance. With the help of his friends and some members of the Smithsonian will Larry save the day? He only has until sunrise.
I enjoyed this film more than I enjoyed the first one. I think this is because I knew what was going on and therefore found it easier to follow. I also liked the fact that I already knew the characters and therefore that the film could jump straight into the story rather than spending time introducing all of the characters and setting the scene.
I thought the plot flowed really well and there was always something interesting going on. I enjoyed the storyline and felt throughout that I was really backing Larry and his friends. I especially liked the introduction of Amelia Earhart as it was really nice to see Larry work in a smaller team and also to bond with someone. In the first film, Larry worked alone the majority of the time and it was nice to see him have a sidekick who was not one of his original friends. Amelia was a really nice character and although I found her slightly annoying to start with, I really warmed to her and enjoyed seeing her work with Larry. The introduction of a female main character also probably makes the film more appealing to women. Ben Stiller was absolutely fabulous as Larry, as he always is. His acting skills are very strong and he is also very humorous, making the film interesting to watch.
I really liked the ending of the film, although it was slightly predictable, you didn't know what was going to happen in between the beginning of the film and the ending. The ending was a happy ending which was nice to see.
All in all, I enjoyed this film. I would recommend it as it was very fun and worth watching. I think it will appeal to all so therefore is great for watching with your family. The plot flowed really well and I enjoyed the storyline.
The film was released in 2009 and is now available on DVD.
Its runtime is 105 minutes.
It is rated a PG.
It stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais.
Great film, definitely worth a watch.
AWARDS: 1 win: Teen Choice Award Choice movie: Comedy
3 noms: Choice movie Villain (Hank Azaira)
Choice movie actor (Ben Stiller)
Choice movie actress (Amy Adams)
Release date: 20 May 2009 (UK) 22 May 2009 (USA)
DVD and Blu-ray: 9 November 2009
Certification: PG rated for mild action and brief language
IMDB rating: 6/10
Running time: 105 mins
Filming locations: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Filming company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), a former security guard is now founder of Daley Devices; a business whereby he is able to manufacture his inventions. He decides to visit the Museum of Natural History and becomes startled to find out that the museum is closed for renovations and many of the hisorical displays are being moved into federal storage at the Washington Smithsonian Museums. Pharoah Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) and his stone tablet will not be moving. Without the stone tablet, the pieces will not come to life at night and Larry knows that when the sun shines, it will be good bye forever.
The next night, Larry recieves a call from Jedediah (Owen Wilson), saying that Dexter stole the tablet and evil Pharaoh Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) who is Ahkmenrah's older brother, is attacking them. Larry wastes no time and plans to infiltrate the Smithsonian museum to save his friends.
Expect to see all the original cast and some fresh faces. Amy Adams in particular plays Amelia Earhart who plays a much more prominant role than originally planned. Thanks to Amy's success and exposure from her role as Giselle in Enchanted, the writers of Night in the Museum 2 re-wrote her role and made her part a lot bigger to "cash in". Dispite this, I am pleased - Amy Adams is a delightful actress and the chemistry between her and Ben Stiller is remarkably strong.
Credit is due for Hank Azaria who plays the evil Pharaoh Kahmunrah. At first glance I rolled my eyes and thought "here we go..." (Villains bore me to death and often leave a bad taste) Yet I was pleasently surprised. His delieverance is not-too-serious and very tounge in cheek. I was bawling my eyes out with laughter. In fact, my stomach was killing me by the end of the movie. There are lengendary lines in this movie and wonderful little skits which poke harmless fun at other villians either in history or film. (Darth Vadar makes an appearance "I'm sorry, what's that? What is that noise? Is that you breathing? I can't hear myself think! Oh and I'm sorry, are we going to the theatre? What's this robe you're wearing? It's all too much! You need to simplify!" - all spoken with a lisp)
MY OPINION OVERALL
I was delighted to watch this movie which provides such hilarity and entertainment. It's a feel-good movie full of plot twists and comical action. The script - as before - was written superbly and with more comical antidotes, more storyline and more history to learn! The sountract is absolutely sensational! What a marvellous movie! It exceeds its predecessor in terms of entertainment and story - although Night in the Museum will always be credited for it's originality - I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and insist that it be in everyone's collection.
I personally feel that this movie deserves 10/10 in these times, a good-hearted comedy is much needed.
As a married adult, with no kids of my own, I fully admit to loving the first Night at the Museum film. I thought it was excellent, and really enjoyed watching Larry the Night Guard working out ways to control and get along with all the different exhibits in his museum. So when the sequel was released I was very happy. But, after I had watched the sequel, at home on DVD with my husband, I was left thinking, 'typical sequel; enjoyable but not as good as the first film.'
The film starts with a couple of scenes that show how Larry, who had some inventions in the first film that were seen as pretty pointless, has become rich and famous in the 2 years since the first film, as he has invented products that people actually find useful. He has his own company and has become something of a workaholic. He goes to visit the museum and it is revealed that he very rarely goes there these days. One plot hole that was revealed immediately is that there is no new Night Guard. When he returns to the museum he talks to the Curator, who then leaves, so he is left alone, at night, in a place he no longer works with all of the exhibits waking up, and noone else around. Surely he had a replacement? Anyway, he learns that the exhibits are going to be replaced by new technology, and that most of them are being packed up and shipped off to the Smithsonian to go into storage. They think that they will be brought to life at night but President Roosevelt (Robin Williams) reveals to Larry that he, the Pharoah, Rexy, and a few other exhibits are staying behind, along with the tablet, so in actual fact this is the last night that the others will be brought back to life.
Cue the following night when Larry gets a phonecall from Jed (the little cowboy from the first film) to say that the monkey from the first film stole the tablet and took it to the Smithsonian with them and now there was big trouble because the Pharoah's older brother (Hank Azaria) wanted to get it from them and use it to unleash an army of the undead. This leads to Larry travelling to the Smithsonian, which is a group of museums, to try to save his friends and take them and the tablet back to the original museum.
I won't give away any more of the plot, and it is action packed, so should keep viewers watching, but I think it could have been done better. Personally I think a better storyline would have been Larry having always been a Night Guard for the past 2 years, and being told that he was getting a promotion to a bigger museum - the Smithsonian, and also going along was the Pharoah and his tablet, as part of a major Egyptian exhibition over there. Then, he would have had to get used to a whole new set of exhibits and work out ways to keep them all contained and happy - as I felt this was the best part of the first film. But, anyway, that didn't happen.
There were some really good parts which introduced you to new exhibits, but I didn't think these were developed enough. But, it was interesting to see characters from history, such as the Wright Brothers. One character who did have a bigger part was Amelia Earhart, who played a romantic interest for Larry. I thought this was a glaring plot hole. At the end of the first film he seems to be falling in love with a worker at the museum, but in the sequel there is no mention of her at all - not even a sentence to say she moved away to work somewhere else or anything. I thought they really should have explained her absence, as all the other characters from the first film were there for at least a short part of the film, even those who do not go to the Smithsonian, such as Larry's son.
Hank Azaria's character played the baddie in the film, but I don't think he was bad enough. He was more an object for ridicule rather than fear. I understand they wouldn't have wanted to frighten children, but I thought Genghis Khan from the first film was fairly frightening, so they could have made Hank Azaria a bit more scary.
There were some very funny parts, but I felt that some things had been included because they were well received in the first film so they were just added in whether the plot needed them or not. As children found the monkey slapping Larry in the first film funny, guess what? This film had 2 monkeys slapping Larry!
There are sort of 2 endings to the film, one that resolves the problem of the tablet and getting back to the museum, and then the finale which, I felt, has a nice feel good factor about it. The first ending is all very well, but showed the Smithsonian characters accepting a fate that I don't know whether they would or not.
Overall, I would say that this film is worth watching, and if it had been the first one about a museum's exhibits coming to life at night then I would have said it was a very good idea, and done well. But because the first film set the bar, this one didn't quite match up.
Night at the Museum, like the Pirates of the Caribbean, was comfortably in that 'this should never have worked' movie bracket. Just as the thought of Johnny Depp playing a swashbuckling pirate was way too obvious for one of cinemas most charismatic actors, Ben Stiller to appear in the hit kid's movie of 2006 also looked rather unlikely. But Depp devoured the pirate cliché and made the role his own, Captain Jack Sparrow one of cinemas most endearing comic anti heroes and Stiller, of course, now the most famous loser museum assistant in cinematic history. I think we both know which the more important role was for the cinema archives. For Stiller, all his roles are pretty much identical anyway, before or after the Night at the Museum, but this just seemed to be perfect for him. Marlon Brando will always be The Godfather and Stiller, Larry Daley the
Stiller does that loveable loser well and seems to appeal to most ages and demographics, what cinema really needs in tough times. As with Pirates of the Caribbean though the sequel was inevitable, the same old formula of stuffing everything that worked from the previous film into it like a like a plump pillow and lay back on that bed and count the money, applied here but, rather ironically, few making it to the trilogy stage because of that tired mechanism that kills the second movie stone dead.
It worked for Pirates of the Caribbean because it had Depp in it, but, alas, it didn't really work here, all the magic sucked out of it. The problem is a simple one in that the first film worked on the build up and mystery to why the exhibits come to life whereas here they are alive from the off, the only twist being they get packed off to a new museum to run around with new characters (available in all good stores for $39.99), a profitable but lazy exercise for all.
Ben Stiller ... Larry Daley
Amy Adams ... Amelia Earhart
Owen Wilson ... Jedediah Smith
Hank Azaria ... Kahmunrah / The Thinker / Abe Lincoln
Robin Williams ... Teddy Roosevelt
Christopher Guest ... Ivan the Terrible
Alain Chabat ... Napoleon Bonaparte
Steve Coogan ... Octavius
Ricky Gervais ... Dr. McPhee
Bill Hader ... General George Armstrong Custer
Jon Bernthal ... Al Capone
Patrick Gallagher ... Attila the Hun
Jake Cherry ... Nicky Daley
Rami Malek ... Ahkmenrah
Mizuo Peck ... Sacajawea
Dreamer and ex night watchman and part-time inventor Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has realised his dream from film one and made his fortune through his entrepreneurial skills, Daley now celebrated in chat shows and newspapers where he plug his products and gives cheesy advice on how to be Americas next Donald Trump. His relationship with his son Nicky (Jake Cherry) is also strong and all is well although he seems to have been dumped by the girl in the previous film, which means a new love interest can be inserted here.
By chance he happens to be walking by his old stamping ground at the New York Museum, popping in to discover it's having a face lift and all the old exhibits are being packed away and sent to the Smithsonian in Washington DC for storage. The plan is to replace them with modern teaching technology, including holograms, which means curator Dr McPhee (Ricky Gervais) is also destined for a dusty retirement.
As day turns to night in the museum Larry is once again alone with some old friends for one last night, Prince Ahkmenran (Rami Malek) mythical gold tablet still working and the guys coming out to play at night. They know about the big move and preparing for their fete. The next day Daley gets a call from tiny toy cowboy Jedediah Smith (Owen Wilson), jumping up and down on the keypad to let Daley know they need help as its all kicked off in the bowels of the Smithsonian, a much bigger museum, because Prince Ahkmenrans evil brother King Kahmunrah (Hank Azira, who plays multiple characters here) has attempted to reclaim the golden tablet and so war has broken out between the new arrivals and the Smithsonian ones, toy Roman soldier Octavious (Steve Cogan) and co still cowering in their container. In that case it looks like the old watchman is needed once again with his trusted torch as he heads to DC to make piece between the exhibits...
Now first of all one or two of you grown ups have hammered this franchise on here but forget to mention it's a kids film.
It's for kids!!!
Dr Who is for kids too and if I hear one more 40-year-old say they are not quite into the current series I will remind them that is also for kids! Saying that I did rent the first film in this franchise for my little niece and did enjoy it greatly so I suppose it's not quite a kid's film.
It's Stiller and Wilson's ninth film together and I suppose they have to go down as one of comedies great double-acts and to be fair both are charming and entertaining in their own little way, me more a Wilson man. For an adult watching this, the sequel is, as expected, somewhat flat, a by-the-numbers affair ticking all the right boxes that sequels do. But as I said at the start of the review it's what you expect when you rent film two and on very few occasions has the first sequel been better than the original, only the Empire strikes back and Godfather 2 perhaps the most noteable exceptions for me.
The pluses are some authentic special effects that tie in with the actual exhibits at the Smithsonian, this, the first movie ever to be filmed in the 13 museum building complex. With slapping the monkey jokes a plenty and those new characters it just about gets away with it and if you sit your youngsters down in front of it and put the dinner on they will be content and sure to pester you to buy all the toys in it, merchandising another essential quality of all good sequels. Mum can nip in and drawl over Stiller and Wilson whilst dad salivates over the bubbly Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart, frightfully pretty. The British contribution is staid cameos by Cogan and Gervais, Steve's minute Legionarie character matching his current Hollywood career potential. Fellow comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen has well and truly stole his thunder and millions in Hollywood.
If, by any chance, you are neither an adult with kids or someone who enjoyed film one then this will not be for you. But if you did enjoy film one then you will get this anyway, the only point of a sequel. I must confess though my gorgeous little niece wasn't with me this time when I watched it, not a bad thing as she spilt her Cheerio's all over my rug last time. Little scamp!
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Imdb.com 6 out of 10.0 (17,420 votes)
RuN-TiMe - 105 minutes
Blockbusters any 2 films for 2 nights for £5 deal.
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Night at the Museum 2 is a follow up to the smash hit "Night at the Museum" starring Ben Stiller and a host of other top names: Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan, Robyn Williams...
It follows on from the first film, but we see night guard Larry (stiller) has become a successful inventor, has little time for anyone and is wanting to strike a big deal with Walmart. He pays his friends at the museum a visit and realises they are all getting shipped out to the Smithsonian museum in Washington, the biggest museum in the USA. It's OK though because the Tablet of Ahkmenrah which gives them all the power to come to life (from the first film) isn't going with them.
Turns out cheeky monkey steals the tablet, takes it with them and brings the biggest museum in the USA to life. Cue Larry to help his friends in need...
The plot centres around an ancient Egyptian pharoah who wants the Tablet of Ahkmenrah back so he can unleash the power of the underworld, but Larry and co. stand in his way. Will the museum and its exhibits survive?
In my opinion, this wasn't quite as funny as the first film, the plot was also a little more wishy/washy, the pharoah was more camp than really evil so it was hard to take him seriously. The new characters in this film, the exhibits from the Smithsonian were good we had Amelia Earhart, a giant octopus which was really cute in the end, Abraham Lincoln, General Custer and a new cute monkey. Not forgetting three singing, harmonising cherubs who chimed in with funny songs just at the right time, for a really good laugh.
It was well directed, the action was good, and it was funny, almost as good as the first but it would be hard to beat. I felt Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan were REALLY underused in this film, as they had been SO funny in the first, I felt their scripts lacked somewhat.
Overall worth a watch, probably one I would buy.
A trip to Blockbuster with my wife usually turns into an epic negotiation. We both approach the counter with our respective choices, ready to do battle to choose which films we will take home that night. I usually champion thrillers, dramas and action films, while she usually plumps for rom coms, family films and corset busting period pieces.
After the necessary posturing, bluff and bluster, usually involving bribes such as toffee popcorn or a tub of Haagen Dazs, we usually manage to compromise. On this occasion, I agreed to make do without Public Enemy in favour of Night at The Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian.
I was reluctant, as I had fairly low expectations of the film - despite moderately enjoying the first one - as it didn't seem a likely candidate for a successful sequel (ironic given my "winning" choice was "X-Men Origins: Wolverine").
The film takes place two years after the original, with former night guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) now a successful but workaholic entrepreneur, selling his weird and wonderful wares (glow in the dark flashlights, oversized dog bones and un-losable key chains - all of which have a connection to his exploits in the original film) on a television shopping channel.
However, his old friends - the many and varied exhibits back at the Museum of Natural History in New York where he worked - are facing an uncertain future after the museum is closed for renovations. Some are being shipped off to the Smithsonian for permanent storage in the underground archives, whilst others are remaining behind in New York.
Quite apart from friends being separated, the magic tablet of Ah Mun Rah - which animates the characters at sunset, is to stay in New York, meaning that those going to Washington will never come alive again. Although Larry wants to help, and tries to intercede on behalf of the exhibits, he is ultimately is unsuccessful in stopping the move.
Resigned to their fate, the exhibits go for a final traipse around the museum, clearly resenting Larry for abandoning them - and that appears to be that. However, a panicked phone call from the diminutive Jedediah Smith (played brilliantly by Owen Wilson) sets off a chain of events which sees Larry dashing off to DC to save his peripatetically animated friends from the clutches of new baddie Kah Mun Rah (the delightful Hank Azaria).
Ben Stiller reprises his role from the first film, but he doesn't really have to stretch his acting chops in this film. He plays the same character in a fair few of his films and although he does a professional job, there is more than a hint of "going through the motions" here.
In fact, his performance is so formulaic, that Hank Azaria craftily steals the film out from under what is ostensibly a Stiller vehicle. In a brilliant, over the top performance that had me laughing out loud more than once, Azaria proves to be - hands down - the best thing in this film. His portrayal of the comically over the top, self-obsessed and ever so slightly camp Egyptian Pharaoh Kah Mun Rah is best summed up by Wilson's character Jedediah:
"Two words come to mind when I hear you speak, weird and delusional. And If I had to pick a third... goofy. Just plain goofy..."
The film is chock full of cameos from established stars such as Robin Williams (Teddy Roosevelt), Steve Coogan (Octavian) and Ricky Gervais (Dr McPhee), all of whom add a bit of fun and flavour to the film. However, apart from the two leads (Azaria and Stiller) the other main character, played with feisty aplomb by the adorable Amy Adams, is Amelia Earhart - the legendary female flier who was the first woman to cross the Atlantic.
She plays a strong female role model - beautiful, courageous, opinionated, and gung-ho - but the jump first, look later attitude gets old fairly quickly. She also doubles as Stiller's love interest, but the less said about that the better as there is little chemistry between them and the whole relationship thing is more than a bit artificial.
Two other honourable mentions - the first to Bill Hader as the preening, narcissistic and clueless General Custer ("We're Americans, we don't plan! we do!... see that? Act first, think later!") , and the second to un-credited Jonah Hill (Seth from Superbad), as Brundon, the Smithsonian Security Guard - the confrontation between him and Stiller's Daley was fairly amusing - and was repeated between Stiller and Azaria later in the film to more comedic effect.
The characters are the movie, rather than the movie being something the characters are in. There is not really much of a plot - just lots of running around and making use of the central conceit of the film - that the museum can come to life because of a mystical Egyptian tablet.
Never is this more evident than in the animation of classic paintings and photographs by the likes of Warhol, Monet and Grant Wood's "American Gothic" - the latter supplying a pitchfork for one set piece between the good guys and the bad. It's a good concept, and the CGI and animation are done quite well, but it all seems so contrived.
Along with characters from the previous outing, we are treated to an "axis of evil" as Azaria's Kah Mun Rah collects baddies from throughout the ages (Ivan the (not so) Terrible, Napoleon (cue size and French jokes) and Al Capone (gangster cliché's anyone?)).
However, one of the comedic highlights is when Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street pitch up looking to join in with Kah Mun Rah's world domination plans. The Pharaoh confronts them both with "We're all full up in our Axis of Evil today. Sorry"- before turning his attention to Darth Vader, and superbly delivering the quote of the film:
"Is that you breathing? Because I can't hear myself think! There's too much going on here; you're asthmatic, you're a robot. And why the cape? Are we going to the opera? I don't think so..."
The comedy is hit and miss, with as much silliness as genuine humour. However, it works OK as a family film (with some simulated violence warranting the PG rating) and will keep both kids and adults mildly entertained throughout. It is paced fairly well, although to be frank, the 105 minute run time is probably about ten or fifteen minutes too long.
One thing the film does have going for it - as a learning tool - is the historical interest, with a great deal of information subtly presented to the audience throughout the film, with the Wright Brothers, Earhart's exploits, the Tuskegee Airmen, General Custer, and Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein amongst others making an appearance. If nothing else, we learn a great deal about the Smithsonian itself - where most of the action is based.
Sadly the sequel is not a patch on the original. It has its moments, but the plot is contrived, the set pieces fun but not leading anywhere, and the acting strictly by the numbers. In addition, without giving anything away, the ending (the last couple of minutes) is totally unnecessary and I challenge you not to roll your eyes at it.
The film is rescued by a stand out performance by Hank Azaria, otherwise it would have been a complete waste of time. As it is, it's a decent family film that I would not go out of my way to watch again. It's currently available on Amazon for £9.98, but seems destined for the bargain bin sooner rather than later.
It turns out my reservations at the DVD shop were justified - even my daughter fell asleep halfway through (well, to be fair, it WAS past her bedtime...).
© Hishyeness 2009
I quite liked the the original movie. I thought it had a nice balance of humour and invention with a reasonable story line to carry it along. In spite of the presence of Ben Stiller, who I regard as possibly the most over-rated "star" over recent years, he wasn't out of place in this. A strong supporting cast (Steve Coogan, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick van Dyke, et al) all have decent cameos; there are good special effects, a decent script, and the direction and editing all make for an enjoyable watch.
Then along comes no. 2, and we just get the same thing all over again. Amy Adams does indeed make a welcome addition, but Hank Azaria has surely hit a low point with his camp New York Pharaoh. The supporting cameos mentioned above are all there again, but they don't offer anything new and in some cases, it's a question of blink and miss it. If there hadn't been the original this might have been alright. As it is, there's a real sense of déja vu, and when the plot gets to the point where Ben Stiller manages to slow time to a crawl so that everything can get back to the museum, you wonder whether he hasn't already cast that spell into the cinema.
I know it's only a short review, but the only reason for seeing this is if you've seen the first one, and if you have, you'll know exactly what to expect. I mean - exactly.
My rating: 2/10 but anyone under the age of 6 would probably still love it.
I quite enjoyed Night At The Museum: it was a fresh and new style of film, with the quirky comedy of Ben Stiller added in for good measure. I was not surprised when I heard there would be a sequel, and on the plane on our way back from Canada the other day, it was the first of two films showing.
Following on from where the first film left off, it follows Larry Daley, now a high flying entrepreneur, as he returns to defend his friends he made as a night guard at the museum. These friends are no ordinary friends, though - they are the exhibits at the museum, important historical figures who come to life after dark thanks to a special stone tablet that has magical powers.
Daley finds that the majority of his pals are being shipped off to be replaced by holograms, as electronics take over. As he attempts to rescue a couple of his friends at the Smithsonian, the evil Kahmunrah seeks to use the tablet to achieve eternal life and complete domination. Larry must return as the ultimate Night Guard to save everyone and restore the museum back to its intended state.
I was really looking forward to this film, and I have to say I was rather disappointed. I was initially confused as to the problem, and then the coincidence that Kahmunrah came to life to achieve domination just as Larry turns up, it was just unbelievable.
The cast do a decent job, with returning actors such as Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan and Robin Williams being joined by Amy Adams and Hank Azaria, among others. They are all quite clever in their enactment of famous historical figures, such as Custer, Capone, Earhart, and Teddy Roosevelt, and a giant Abe Lincoln even gets in on the act.
Yet everything was just too silly, and it was as if they had tried a bit TOO hard to force the historical issue. The danger never seems real, and although this is supposed to be a family comedy, there could at least be a bit of suspense in the violence as opposed to it all being a bit contrived, formulaic and tame. The predictability factor shoots through the roof, and although there is a bit of comedy that was enough to make me chuckle, I found myself less interested in this than I had hoped.
Yes, it's a very cleverly made film, and the special effects are, as with the first film, very well done indeed, but I felt as if it was just the same formula from the first film transferred with a different villain and a slightly different plot. I found nothing particularly new or special about it, and my ultimate feeling when the film finished was one of disappointment. I hope Stiller hangs up his Museum boots now and doesn't opt for a third: it has most definitely now run its course, and would have been better left as a single film on its own, without this sequel.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is currently available on DVD for £11.98. It's still a new release, so if you do want to buy it to watch it, wait a couple of months until the price drops. There's no need to rush with this one. It's not like the content could get any older. Not really one I'd recommend.
I loved the first one with the idea of the museum coming to life at night really playing into a childhood fantasy I used to have, so I was first in line to see the sequel. I couldn't really picture how they would carry on without repeating the events of the first movie but was keen to find out.
This film sees Larry having made it big with his nutcase inventions and I guess the crux of the movie is that in doing so, he has lost himself a little and the experience with the Smithsonian Institute (where the characters from the first movie have been taken) brings him back to his true self.
There are some brilliant moments in this film, including a budding romance with Amelia Aerhart and the change of venue and introduction of new characters (Hank Azaria is absolutely wonderful) really means that this film feels like a new adventure rather than a 'cash in on the first one' remake.
I guess it does lose a little as there is no surprise in the characters coming to life as you are obviously already expecting them too after the first one but that's a minor point I think. There was plenty of action and adventure to keep the 8 year old boys I took interested and a hint of romance to soften the storyline for the girls a little. Some jokes for adults and plenty for kids, but we all laughed throughout -- I say it is another one that really does have something to offer for the whole family.
Another great film from stiller. As soon as this film came out at the cinema i had to go and see it as i love the actor ben stiller as he has some amzing films along with owen wilson. I really enjoyed watching the hilarious comedy, it has some great ideas in it and i dont think that this film is on just for the younger ones but a great film for the whole family to enjoy and watch together. I dont think that the film drag on at all like most films normally do. I think that the film has great structure and all the right characters and jokes to keep you laughing and smiling the whole way through the film. I enjoyed watching this film and will deffently be buying the the second dvd as soon as it is out. I really would recommened this film to anybody interested.
It's the night that all self respecting dad's dread............kids choice DVD night. And last night was NIght at the Museum 2 with Ben Stiller, Steve Coogan, Owen Wilson, RObin Williams, Hank Azaria....et al
Now, I enjoyed the first instalment, it was fun, witty, enjoyable and there were a few surprises.
Oh, if only they could recreate that here. What we have is an incipid watered down version of the first film that has no surprises. The gimmick in the first film that the museum came to life was clever, a little unexpected even to see how each of the exhibits would come to life. Most noteably Dexter the monkey and Rexy. They are back in this film but Rexy has been well house trained by now. Dexter is also surprisingly tame until he meets Abel and one if the few 'slap stick' (pun intended) scenes takes off.
The film starts with Ben Stiller as the head of a multi billion company doing very well for himself. He returns to the museum to find it is being shipped out to storage in Washington and decides he must go and rescue his friends.
That's really about it for the story. The rest is about the characters: And boy do some of these suck. The female interest Amelia Earhart is a whinny irating woman he speaks like she is out a really cheesy old film. I think that was the point but it grates after 10 seconds. Hank Azaria plays a hacked of Pharoah with a lisp and a huge chip on his shoulders. One of the few funny moments ois when he throws Dorothy' shoes away saying there are not even made of real ruby's. And all too often you hear Side Show Bob from the Simpsons in his voice. The best characters are the Einstein bobble heads. They'r ejust fun to watch.
The film doesn't really drag it's heals but is doesn't pick up the pace and there is very little use made of Ben Stiller's son. It is set up brilliantly for a straight to DVD bargain bin sequel that will no doubt form another evening of torment for me.
For kids this is a great film, full of the usual slapstick, comedy and cheesy one liners. I only discovered that Rexy was doing a robot dance at the end at breakfast this morning. Of course I didn't admit to that, that would ruin streak cred!!!
Put it on to occupy kids while you go get on with some other manly duties.............like gardening!!!