Eye For Film >> Movies >> Night At The Museum 2 (2009) Film Review
You don’t find many sequels that are an improvement on the original (Terminator 2, maybe? The Godfather: Part II? Ooh, now I’ve opened a whole can of worms), but Shawn Levy’s follow-up to Night At The Museum is a bigger, more spectacular affair than the first offering. The basic premise of this adventure-comedy is still pretty similar, as the exhibits in a museum come to life after sunset. But the new setting in question is the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC – the world’s largest museum complex – allowing the action to take place on an even grander scale.
Having given up his job as a museum night guard, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has since become a successful inventor. However, on a brief visit to his former workplace, New York’s Museum of Natural History, he discovers that some of his favourite exhibits are being banished to the archives at the Smithsonian. Concerned for their fate, Larry becomes even more alarmed when he receives a panicked phone call from the miniature cowboy Jedediah (Owen Wilson). Not only has the Smithsonian sprung to life, but some of the other occupants are less than welcoming…
Fans of the first film will be pleased to see the return of so many familiar faces, including Octavius (Steve Coogan), Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Dr McPhee (Ricky Gervais) and cheeky monkey Dexter. Meanwhile, new characters include the Egyptian ruler Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), who’s plotting to take over the world with the help of some horrible henchmen, and daring pilot Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), who reawakens Larry’s sense of adventure. Azaria almost steals the show with his hammed-up pantomime baddie performance, as well as lending his voice to some of the other exhibits. However, Adams’ jolly-hockeysticks portrayal of the famous aviator becomes increasingly grating as the film goes on – and it’s hard not to be distracted by her super-tight trousers (read what her co-stars had to say about those here).
While the plotline’s easily predictable by anyone over the age of six, the film’s biggest strength is its imaginative special effects, from the famous works of art that become virtual worlds to the fantastic flying sequences. Sure, it’s not the most thought-provoking film you’ll ever see – but for some good old family fun, you can’t go too far wrong.Reviewed on: 24 May 2009
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