Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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

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Movie"Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"
Director: Shawn Levy
Year: 2009
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has finally found success with his inventions and now heads his own company. One day, he stops by the museum where he used to work as a guard only to find many of the exhibits are going to moved to the storage room at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. The tablet of Ahkmenrah, that brings these exhibits to life, is to stay in New York. While there,  Dexter the monkey steals the tablet and takes it with them to DC. At the Smithsonian, the tablet awakens a variety of exhibits including Khamunrah (Hank Azaria), the older and much more ruthless brother of Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), who wishes to use the tablet to raise an army of the dead and take over the world. When Jedediah (Owen Wilson) calls Larry for help, Larry poses as a security guard to help his friends and try and defeat Khamunrah.

Pretty much what little bit of magic and cuteness from the first "Night at the Museum" movie is gone in this second installment. The entire premise of this movie is sort of ridiculous, and we're not even talking about how the exhibits come to life. That's the element we've never had a problem with because it's a fantasy kids movie and it was based on a book for young adults. It was someone else's idea brought to life on the big screen. Everything beyond Larry finding success outside of the museum is completely contrived and artificial to a fault. These themes include, but are not limited to: Larry's return to the museum on the exact night they are moving exhibits; the exhibits being transferred to the Smithsonian, which only serves to parade Ben Stiller's friends out in cameo roles that only last for 30 seconds a piece; and one of the largest museums in the world having absolutely no security. These dumb plot points only exist in order to drive the movie forward into utter absurdity. Hey, but it's just a kids movie, don't think too hard about it! Well, that's our job. The movie is just dumb. Adults most likely could have tolerated the first installment but will most certainly role their eyes and grab the nearest electronic device around them to get away from watching this mindless cash grab. Amy Adams is the only moderately tolerable thing about this movie, and even BigJ was unimpressed with her. It's not to say we don't like the actors in this movie, because we do, but as a whole, this film contains so much bad writing, so much poor CGI, and so many glaring plot holes and loose ends that it's hard not to feel like it's simply boring, silly and stupid, which is how you feel after viewing it. It's largess, bloat, overkill and excess at its best. We can't say we're looking forward to watching the third and final movie in this franchise, but we will tough it out for you guys and gals.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 44%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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