Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) – Movie Review

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (also known as Night at the Museum 2) is the sequel to Night at the Museum. Ben Stiller leads the cast again with Owen Wilson and Robin Williams reprising their roles.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Ben Stiller and Amy Adams in "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"
Ben Stiller and Amy Adams in "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is a successful man, he’s the CEO of his own company, which invents things like Glow-in-the-dark torchlights. Larry has George Foreman (as himself) as the guest star of his own invention TV Show.

The Museum of Natural History, the place where the first Night at the Museum movie was based is closed for upgrades and renovations. It was already two years since Larry leaves his night guard job. Out of curiosity, Larry steps into the museum to check out what happen. His former boss tells him that the museum will be using high-tech technology to beam the exhibits to life instead of showcasing wax figures. The existing exhibits will be moved into federal storage at the Smithsonian Institution instead.

Larry attempts all possible ways to save the exhibits but to no avail. When he receives a call from Jedediah Smith (Owen Wilson), whom tells him that the capuchin has stolen the tablet which brings things to life and therefore, everything in the world’s largest museum complex has come to life. In order to save his friends, Larry breaks into the prohibited area of the Smithsonian Museum to save the world.

Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) who flew on her non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic joins Larry in his adventure to prevent Kahmunrah, a wacky evil Pharoah (played by Hank Azaria) from activating the tablet to resurrect his armies.

While attempting to save the old exhibits which are held captive by Kahmunrah, Larry and Amelia encounter many new exhibits including Al Capone (Jon Bernthal), Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest), Napoleon Bonaparte (Alain Chabat), The Thinker and Abraham Lincoln (both played by Hank Azaria as well).
Even Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch and Star Wars’ Darth Vader are not spared as they want to join Kahmunrah in his evil’s bid, but both are deemed unqualified by the Pharoah.

Larry and Amelia develop some feelings for each other while trying to save the exhibits. Larry has sold his own company to fund the The Museum of Natural History and once again, the exhibits are back to its original place. The museum is even opened at night and the exhibits themselves act as tour guides. The boss of the museum doesn’t have a clue that it’s not technology but the exhibits really come alive. Larry encounters a lost tourist whom assembles Amelia and the movie ends with Larry acting as tour guide for the lost tourist. Shortly after the credits appear, the sailor who finds Larry’s cellphone in the exhibits picture frame is seen called by his mom as "Motorola".

Overall, the movie is hilarious and fun to watch as the visual is stimulating. Somehow, the excitements end there. Kahmunrah, as an evil Pharoah, is wacky and at times, funny and not at all terrifying while Al Capone, Ivan the Terrible and Napolean Bonaparte are not ruthless enough. A good film for the family.

My ratings: 7 out of 10.