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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Night at the Museum 2

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

Synopsis from IMDb: When the Museum of Natural History is closed for upgrades and renovations, the museum pieces are moved into federal storage at the famous Washington Museums. The centerpiece of the film will be bringing to life the Smithsonian Institution, which houses the world’s largest museum complex with more than 136 million items in its collections, ranging from the plane Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) flew on her non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic and Al Capone’s (Jon Bernthal) rap sheet and mug shot to Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Fonzie’s jacket from Happy Days, the still from M*A*S*H and Archie Bunker’s lounge chair from All in the Family. After stealing a security guard’s ID badge, Larry (Ben Stiller) slips into the Archives of the Smithsonian, where Kahmunrah, an evil Pharaoh will come to life with the reestablishing of a tablet as a magical force in the museum bringing the old exhibits (Such as Theodore Roosevelt and Dexter) and new exhibits (like General Custer and Al Capone) back to life, and in conflict with each other. Larry enlists the help of Amelia Earheart, who he develops a romantic interest in, and together they try to put everything back in order.

Reviewers: VS, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.75 pointed ears
Let’s face it this is NOT great cinema.  It’s a sequel to a mildly successful film.  For fans of the original you’re expecting more of the same thing that you got in the original.  That said, this film manages to avoid sequelitis.  It gives us more of the same thing while managing to avoid using the original film as a crutch.  The first film dealt with Larry the Night Guard (Ben Stiller) coping with the fact that his job entailed policing the exhibits that come to life each night in his museum.

This film manages to move the whole premise to the Smithsonian without a lot of juxtaposition and hoop jumping.  This time around Larry copes very well with the living exhibits while trying to save Earth from being taken over by Ahkmenrah’s evil brother.  Lots of fun moments in this film that had the whole theater laughing.

My only gripes with the movie were first, the underuse of the original characters.  Aside from Larry, Jedediah and Octavius, the rest of the orginal cast have what amounts to an extended cameo.  Second was the Darth Vader cameo.  The producers went to great lengths to get Carrol Spinney to Oscar the Grouch, they couldn’t get James Earl Jones to do Vader’s voice?  Third, General Custer replacing Teddy Roosvelt as the historical guide/leader? puh-leez

PIT #2 – 1.99 pointed ears
This movie took a whole lot of time to get up to speed.  It’s like they tried to start the movie out in fourth gear.  They did manage to give us more of the same stuff as we got the first film but without being repetitive.

PIT #3 – 1.9 pointed ears
This movie was replete in awesomeness.  Look up Awesome in the dictionary and you’ll find this movie.  However there’s a BIG asterisk by this movie.  Amelia Earhart didn’t need to go kissing Larry.

5.64 out 6 pointed ears
This is a family friendly movie, fans of the original will not be disappointed.  Newcomers to the NatM franchise don’t need a primer in “What happened previously”.


June 20, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , | 1 Comment