Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Directed by Shawn Levy
Starring Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest
Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 1, 2009
I’ll be honest, when I found out the exhibits at the Museum of Natural History would be coming to life on screen once more in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian I wasn’t all that enthusiastic. I figured the “magic” was already revealed in the first movie and that this sequel would just be more of the same. Let’s face it, the first film, which starred Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a night guard at the Museum of Natural History in New York, was a hit, so why mess with a perfect formula? That’s why screenwriters Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant were smart enough to stick with what drew audiences in initially — the inanimate exhibit figures coming to life at sundown and Larry fighting villains attempting to gain control of a powerful object — while making it much more than just a simple repeat of its predecessor.
The sequel finds Larry out of his museum night guard duds and into the role of CEO of Daley Devices, the company founded to sell his inventions, like the The Glow-In-The-Dark Flashlight and The Unloseable Keyring. The successful Larry decides to visit his old place of employment, the Museum of Natural History, the setting of 2006’s Night at the Museum, which is now closed for renovations and its famous exhibits packed away in crates to be sent to permanent storage at the Smithsonian Institute’s Federal Archives in Washington DC. After hours, the figures come to life and Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) explains that the Pharaoh Ahkmenrah’s Tablet, which is what animates the figures at sundown, won’t be going to the Archives with everyone else. While the situation is dire for his friends, Larry is distracted by his phone’s incoming messages and all of his business ventures to do anything about it.
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