NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE FOR THE SMITHSONIAN (B-)
The only way to start this review is to talk about celestial being named Amy Adams. She has always been noted as a fantastic actress (see Doubt). In this film she plays the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean Amelia Earhart. First off, props to the costume designer Marlene Stewart for creating a wonderful ensemble for Amy Adams to fill. Her character is lovable and works terrific alongside the returning Ben Stiller.
The sequel has many of the same faces as the first like: Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, and that moving T-Rex fossil. Stiller returns as Larry Daley, a former night security guard (wow Hollywood is pumping out those security guard movies) at a magical museum where the exhibits come to life. In the sequel, he has turned into a business entrepreneur leaving the museum without his help. While he is away, the museum changes for the future. The board of directors plan to add more high tech exhibits and ship the old ones to the Smithsonian storage facility.
The newcomers to the Smithsonian do not get a warm welcoming from some of the existing inhabitants like Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), Al Capone, Ivan the Terrible, and Napoleon Bonaparte. The little cowboy (Wilson) calls Gigantor, I mean Larry, for help when the Smithsonian faithful are giving the newbies a hard time. Of course Larry has to get down to the Washington location to help his unique friends out of their dilemma.
Seeing the first film I did not come into the sequel expecting to be wowed out of my chair. But the just like the first film, Battle for the Smithsonian was entertaining for its duration. I laughed quite a bit, and was pleased with all the history thrown into the mix like: General Custer (Bill Hader), The Tuskegee Airmen, The Wright Brothers, and Abe Lincoln. It was entertaining watching these historic figures interact.
The acting and script were both fine from what you would expect from a movie like this. As predicted there was no depth to the script, but definitely a cute love story between Larry and Emelia Earhart. The script was definitely geared towards kids, and seemed less "intelligently written" (if I must say) than the first one. It is especially apparent in one of Azaria's characters (voices of Lincoln and Thinking Man also) the very annoying ultimate villain Kahmunrah. His dialogue was mostly retarded; and for some reason Azaria made this character talk with lisp?? And strangely all these ancient characters know about current trends, slogans, sayings... kind of silly. But that is the theme for this movie.
The direction was clean cut and average from Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum 1, Pink Panther). The special effects were well executed, and worked well to tell this unusual historical adventure.
Overall, the film was entertaining to watch and definitely a decent sequel. The showing I saw was full of children, and that is who this movie is geared for. Not to say that adults wouldn't like it, but don't come with expectations for a serious project. The only real reason I would ever need to watch this film again would be to watch smoking fine Amy Adams, but the rest is worth the ride too. Don't spend more than matinee money on Battle for the Smithsonian unless you love Amy Adams, history in general, or watching Hank Azaria act like a moron.