Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

2009 PG 105 Minutes

Adventure | Fantasy | Action | Comedy | Family

Hapless museum night watchman Larry Daley must help his living, breathing exhibit friends out of a pickle now that they've been transferred to the archives at the Smithsonian Institution. Larry's (...

Overall Rating

5 / 10
Verdict: So-So

User Review

  • WHAT I LIKED: What made the first 'Night at the Museum,' so great was its high-concept story, atmospheric direction and character arc at the centre. The second film in series 'Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,' has none of those things, and is instead driven by a ridiculous plot that almost exclusively serves to deliver moments of spectacle and absurd humour. That admittedly works in places, mainly because the cast are such a brilliant comic team, and because there are some genuine moments of physical comedy that translate well.

    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Really though, there's little to engage you beyond that, as there's no smart building of tension or intrigue this time around because every scenario is played at eleven from start to finish. Seriously, from the moment that Ben Stiller's Larry arrives in Washington to rescue his ancient friends, the film begins to constantly throw everything out of its toy box all at the same time. There's singing flying cherubs, animals from across the planet, famous art installations, rockets, a group of tiny Einsteins, oh, and Emilia Eirhart, all whizzing around the place all at once.

    That lack of delicate atmospheric development will leave you numb to any comedy and tension, but that's not the only shortfall, as even the supposed character arc this time around is practically non-existent. Sure, there's a brief attempt at making some story about Larry discovering what's important compared to his new life as a successful businessman, but we never believe any of it because we never really see it, and the main plot doesn't really play into those hands.

    VERDICT: A film that has none of the atmospheric or character qualities of its predecessor, 'Night at the Museum: The Battle of the Smithsonian,' throws everything and the kitchen sink at the screen, but the result is pretty numbing.