“Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” The Amy Adams Show

Genres: Comedy and Sequel

Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.

Release Date: May 22nd, 2009 (wide)

MPAA Rating: PG for mild action and brief language.

Distributors: 20th Century Fox

Directed by: Shawn Levy

JJ Rating: B+

The museum’s stuff is moved to the Smithsonian because they are doing an upgrade and no longer need it. So the tablet ends up going that direction so the Smithsonian’s stuff gets to be alive. Yay. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.

It was amusing, entertaining, and fun. It had stuffy moments where there were too many details to what was going on and I just didn’t care. They just had to keep it simple because that’s why the first one worked so well. I think the first one was better and this one lost a bit of charm with the original characters, but it was still good.

Amy Adams plays Amelia Earhart and she steals the show from the moment she arrives. Every time she is on the screen it’s awesome. When she isn’t, well the movie isn’t so great, for the most part. She made the movie with her acting. I know she’s a great actress but she still amazes me with how well she embodies whatever character she is. Then the shocker was the Jonas Brothers being the little cupids fluttering about singing. That was pretty cool part in a way. I like how there are so many famous people in this film and how well it all, for the most part, works out. Robin Williams reprises his role as Teddy Roosevelt and does a better job this time than before. Especially since there’s a second Teddy and that is one of the funny moments that I really liked.

Hank Azaria was Kahmunrah (Kah-moon-raw), The Thinker and Abe Lincoln. He was really good with two of them because all there was-was his voice. Kahmunrah had really great funny moments that were with Ben Stiller, but his voice reminded me far too much of Stewie from “Family Guy”. It might remind others of something far less cartoony, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it once it entered my head. Jonah Hill (unaccredited roll) as “Brandon” was hilarious. He and Ben Stiller played well off of one another and one of the better scenes in the film having to do with the pronunciation of Brandon.

The trailer did a great job of keeping most of the film a secret allowing for other surprises to pop up and give good laughs and oohs and ahhs. The Custard and Sacagawea bit on the trailer was fantastic. I love it. I laughed when I saw it on screen as I did every single time I saw it in the trailer. Custard was a great character and added more humor to the cast of characters. Bill Hader is just subtly fantastic. There are a couple of scenes with the new addition to the film and that is the paintings. You look at what is going on in the foreground and that’s the story, you look at what goes on in the background and you get more. The paintings gave more to the scene. They were a great addition. That was creative genius at work.

Battle of the Smithsonian was a bit convoluted. It had too much going on that was making it too murky and not enough fun. There was too much set up to what the bad guy wanted and how to go about getting it. The fun parts were the parts that didn’t deal with what he wanted and dealt far more with how they went about getting it. I think the film suffered from a poorly thought out villain (not a poorly acted villain because it wasn’t—good job Azaria). I think when a franchise is born the people that decide to do another one forget what made the first one so great. If they stick closely to what made it great while adding more fun and excitement they would do what Toy Story II did and make a better film. But they tend to forget and so the sequel ends up being an ok film instead of great as it could be.

I enjoy that Battle of the Smithsonian uses real characters from history. It gets children interested in history and museums. It’s also great that museums with IMAXs show the film and, as the one in Houston is doing, give a free ticket to view the museum afterwards. It’s a great learning tool. What will kids really learn after seeing this film? That Amy Adams is a mainstay, a phenomenal actress and someone that will never disappoint. I’m sorry I forgot this was Battle of the Smithsonian, for a moment I thought it was the “Amy Adams’ Show”.

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