Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

History is larger than life—and twice as funny—in this monumental comedy sequel that’s “better than the original” (At the Movies)! Ben Stiller leads an all-star cast (including Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria and Robin Williams) as Larry Daley, a former night watchman at the Museum of Natural History, where the exhibits come to life after dark. But now Larry’s nocturnal friends are being retired to the archives of the Smithsonian Institution, luring him back… More >>

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

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  1. Back in the sixties when I grew up, Custer was a hero; he even had his own TV show. Then, after “Little Big Man”, he became a villain. Now he’s in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM II making a comeback. What cliché should we pin on him: good guy or bad guy? Well, since he can’t no longer be remembered as a good guy, and we can’t just quite put an American in uniform among the bad guys, let’s just say that “Battle of the Smithsonian” is his last stand to make amends and do good in the end.

    Sounds stupid? It is. Unfortunately, that’s the criteria behind the movie. To each character a label: spunky Amelia Earhart is a good gal because she was a woman who flew planes. The Tuskegee airmen are good guys because they were black (and flew planes). Einstein was smart, so he must know how to decipher an Egyptian riddle. Lincoln is a good guy because he has a big statue. Ivan the Terrible? bad guy, of course -why waste such a nickname! Napoleon must be “despicable” too, since he was a warmongering imperialist little runt. Actually, the same can be said of Teddy Roosevelt, only he belongs with the good guys. Why? Because!

    Yeah; I know. No harm done; mere brain candy entertainment. Yet, these movies are made to promote the museums depicted; for kids to flock to them and learn a thing or two. Why learn at all, mind you, if all you need to know you can pick up watching predictable movies made by guys contented with politically-correct platitudes, prejudice, urban legends, stereotypes …along with their hard-earned fat Hollywood contracts? Hey! You liked Ben Stiller being slapped by a monkey in the first movie? Here he’s slapped by TWO monkeys! Enjoy!


    P.S.: What Abraham Lincoln meant with “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (a quotation from Christ, by the way), was not “Divide And Conquer” but “Divided We Fall”; a rather different notion. Alas, that didn’t deter the screenwriter. After cowboys befriending Romans, why should it?
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. The original was ok, kinda enjoyable. This is too much the same / suffers from sequel-sucko-noma. Can’t really even give it 2 stars. Just 1 then. Skip it, unless you are a kid or are just taking the kids out for a movie on Sat nite.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. I can’t laugh watching this movie. The first one is better.

    Sometimes seem like stupid jokes.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. Warning: This review may contain spoilers>>From the outset. I kept wondering how ordinary security guard schlub Ben Stiller could so easily become an infomercial king, hawking glow in the dark flashlights and earning gobs of money. Then I realized that the screenwriters couldn’t just have him start off as a security guard at the museum again because people don’t want to see the same thing twice when they pay money for a sequel. Nonetheless, the infomercial angle ends up being dropped like a hot potato and Stiller is back at the museum just like in the original. This time he learns that his pals at the Museum of Natural History are being shipped off to the basement archives at the Smithsonian. To make matters worse, they have to deal with some crazy Pharoah guy who needs to figure out a secret code that will unlock a door to ancient Egypt where all of his nasty minions are just waiting to get loose and wreak havoc upon an unsuspecting world.

    There are moments in `Battle for the Smithsonian’ that feel like the script was dispensed with and the action was completely improvised. Take the scene with Stiller trying to break into the basement at the Smithsonian, opposed by the security guard played by Jonah Hill. The joke is that the security guard is a wuss and is easily dissuaded by the more persuasive Stiller. And this is the problem for every character in the film. They are all buffoons in one way or another and carry no moral weight.

    The antagonist is played by Hank Azaria who has a one note part as a lisping Pharoah, Kahmunrah. He’s joined by three villains from history: Napoleon Bonaparte, Ivan the Terrible and a young Al Capone. The three allies of the Egyptian have virtually nothing to do throughout the film–Bonaparte at one point jumps on top of Stiller, Capone waves a machine gun and Ivan basically scowls.

    Stiller’s allies fare no better. Owen Wilson plays a miniature cowboy trapped inside an hourglass by Kahmunrah. We’re supposed to laugh as he is gradually submerged by the sand inside the hourglass pouring down on top of him. Steve Coogan is Wilson’s buddy, playing another `miniature’, this time the famous Roman Emperor `Octavius’. The Emperor’s big moment is when he mistakes a squirrel for a giant creature and rides him back into the Smithsonian thinking he can take on Kahmunrah’s army of bad guys. No laughs there! Bill Hader plays General Custer with an inferiority complex: he bemoans the fact that he’ll always be remembered for his one bad moment at the Little Big Horn with all his other accomplishments ignored. While Custer is a complete clown, the Indian Princess Sacajawea berates him not for his hatred of Native Americans but rather for his incompetence as a soldier.

    It takes a long time before Stiller’s love interest, feminist icon Amelia Earhardt, played by Amy Adams, does what she does best: i.e. fly a plane. But most of the time she’s nothing more than the feeble love interest in the film–chasing Stiller around, acting a bit spunky and providing moral support. Other wasted parts include Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt (in dual incarnations as Teddy on horseback and as a talking bust), a completely forgettable Attila the Hun and a bunch of grunting Neanderthals.

    The plot is quite disappointing. After Kahmunrah finds out the `secret code’ from a Bobblehead Albert Einstein and unleashes the forces of evil, they all inexpicably run back into the portal after a giant Abraham Lincoln (roused from his sleep at the Lincoln Memorial) confronts them. Lincoln is reduced to an awkward giant, more like Lurch of the old Adams Family TV series than the great statesman of American history.

    `Battle’ was written mainly for the special effects department to show their stuff. There are a few clever visual effects when famous paintings come to life (most notable is when Stiller and Adams jump into the famous scene on VJ Day with the sailor and the nurse making out in Times Square). Rodan’s `Thinker’ comes to life as a wise-talking Guido and there are three angel statues singing updated rap versions of r&b classics. All of this is nice to look at but it’s simply not very funny.

    I have never been a big fan of Ben Stiller but here he outdoes himself in a role that relies mainly on slapstick humor. There is nothing clever or witty about Battle for the Smithsonian. It represents a further dumbing down of American comedy. And the producers here should heed the old admonition–what goes around, comes around! Hopefully Kahmunrah will be putting a new curse on them in the future–at the boxoffice, where it hurts!

    Rating: 1 / 5

  5. As a former museum guard in New York city, this thing is terrible. I stopped watching after 5 minutes. I had my doubts, and that’s why I never saw it until now (several years after it’s release), but this turkey is SO bad I can’t recomend it to anyone except very young kids who like dinosaurs. The worst.
    Rating: 1 / 5

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