Friday, June 05, 2009

Review - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Over Memorial Day weekend, we took the kids to see the new Night at the Museum movie. We all really enjoyed the first movie. We have the original picture book on which the movie was (loosely) based, and the kids have fun with that as well. So we went into this film with fairly high expectations.

...And it didn't disappoint.


I wasn't quite sure how the plot would play out. From the trailers and the title, I knew we were headed to the Smithsonian to meet some new characters and have some cheesy new jokes at their expense.

The plot itself was a lot of fun and worked very well. The action was well paced. Plot elements were well organized and played out nicely as things went from bad to worse to worser. The story arc increased nicely, came to a nice climactic peak and then wound down to a good ol' fashion fairy tale style ending.


Stiller's character was believable as the loyal do-gooder with a lot of heart and plenty of courage especially considering the situation. I thought he did great.

I was actually kind of glad to see Robin Williams' character not getting a ton of screen time. While Williams can be funny, he often plays himself as larger than life and ends up distracting from the show and the character he's representing. His appearance in the Smithsonian had a few good jokes without going overboard and was a good balance for the show.

To me, the two core new characters really stole the show.

Amy Adams was great as Amelia Earhart. I really enjoyed her acting style and her character in general. Just a lot of fun with lots of spunk.

Hank Azaria was wonderful as the ancient Egyptian pharaoh. I loved the snarky sarcasm of his character and the obnoxiously laughable way he pushed his way through the tight situation everybody was in. He was great.

Setting, effects, etc

The setting was great. I went to D.C. in High School and wandered around some of the monuments and spent some time in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. It was cool to see the movie bounding around the nation's capitol and its amazing museum.

The effects were fabulous and the kids absolutely loved them. They loved the ~final line(s) of the movie in which a kid is critiquing the "obviously fake animatronics" on Rexie (the T-Rex skeleton brought to life during the movie). To the kids, everything that came to life...was really alive. And truly, the effects looked great such that everything really did look alive.


Overall this was a great flick. It's naturally not for everybody. It was whimsical and silly and just plain zany, which won't appeal to some movie goers. But to anybody in the mood for a fun filled cheesy comedy, especially if you're a kid or a kid at heart, you should have fun with this.

4 stars

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