Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (Shawn Levy, 2009)

So, we are in Round 2, means another great adventure from the inhabitants of the NYC Museum of Natural History. The whole premise is basically a rehash of the 1st movie. A re-telling of an Egyptian gold tablet causes the museum exhibit to come alive. The movie studio who is behind the 1st flick probably thinks by recycle the plot, shifting the adventure to a bigger playground will be well embraced by the audience. But clearly this movie proves the law of diminishing in sequel.

After the adventurous event from the 1st movie, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) the former nightguard of has moved on, founding Daley Devices, a company that sells his goofy invention. Meanwhile, the museum is set to close for upgrading works. Many of his old friends will be shipped to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. permanently, Only a few left behind such as the wax figure of Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), The Skeleton T-Rex who act like a dog, the Dum-dum Statue from Easter Island. Meanwhile, the evil Egyptian Pharaoh, Kahmunrah, is after the gold tablet to release the army from the underworld to conquer the world. And it’s up to our nightguard Larry to stop them. Hmmm…. The plot of save the world from falling into villain’s hand, how original is that?

Although the existing casts return in this sequel, Jedediah the cowboy (Owen Wilson) is sadly a bit underused here together with his rival-turned-buddy, Emperor General Octavius. I always love Jedediah’s cockiness and his over-confidence lines. Gone too, is the Robin Williams’ portrayal of Teddy Roosevelt, he is reduced to a cameo role. There are many, many newly added character such as the feisty Amy Adams, as the female lead in the shape of Amelia Earhart(for your info, the actual Amelia is the 1st woman to fly across Atlantic in 1928). She provides the sidekick role to Larry. Then, there is a trio of nemesis consists of Napoleon Bonaparte, Ivan The Terrible (forgive my ignorance, but who is he?), Al Capone in monochrome, You have to see it for yourself, it’s kind of like the opposite of Pleasantville (made it 1999 starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon). There even got Darth Vader character in a funny gag!

Hank Azaria as Kahmunrah is somehow on hit and miss performance; at times he is absolutely hilarious when he blows his top and suddenly turning soft, other time he is trying too hard as in the flat, repetitive exchange between him and Larry. I am also squirmed by the Napoleon’s monotonous row with Larry or General Custer lame tactical speech scene, amongst others. Compare any of these lame scenes to 1st movie which, really make me chuckled and warm at the same time, for example, when Larry had a tough time dealing with Attilia the Hut, who is a hard nut to crack. But deep down his heart, all he need is a little cuddle and care which Larry gave him in the end.

NATM2:BATS is not as memorable as the original movie, but certainly sufficed as family adventure movie, just remember not to expect anymore from that. It has its own genuine funny moments although it’s “been here, done that” kind of gag. The 1st time viewers may engross by it, for patrons who have seen the 1st instalment must have felt that the magic and surprise element is clearly lacking here.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.