Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday Night at the Movies - Night At The Museum 2

The full title of the movie is Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian. I'll give a little capsule summary of the plot after the poster. We had liked the first movie. It was very cleverly done with slap-stick humor and a tongue-in-cheek attitude. I think if you liked the first movie you'll like this one but probably not as much. If you haven't seen the first movie, this one might not make a lot of sense.Larry the night guard (Ben Stiller) has moved up in the world as a TV pitchman for a line of products (like the glow-in-the-dark flashlight) that he has invented. For some reason he decides to visit the museum he used to work at and finds that most of the exhibits are being shipped to Washington to be stored at the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian (I don't think this is a real place). The magic Egyptian tablet which makes the exhibits come alive is staying in New York. So is Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams who only has a bit part in this sequel). But the tablet actually ends up in Washington and Larry goes there to rescue his exhibit friends. The brother of the Egyptian bad guy from the first movie is the bad guy in this movie (with a lisp no less). He wants to use the tablet to open the Door to the Underworld and thus conquer the world. Along with the tongue-in-cheek additude there is this underlying current of doom. A strange combination. We meet lots of new characters like Amelia Erhardt (who has lots of moxie), Albert Einstein bobbleheads, and a giant Abraham Lincoln. Owen Wilson has a much smaller part than in the first movie spending most of his time in an hour glass with sand pouring down on his head.

There are some good scenes. Larry and Amelia are being chased around the museum by 17th century French soldiers and Egyptian spear carriers. They pass through a picture gallery and the scenes on all the pictures are alive. One picture is a life sized version of the famous photograph of the sailor kissing the nurse on Time Square at the end of World War II. Our heroes duck into the picture and turn into black and white versions of themselves. They are closely followed by the Egyptians. They run around Times Square a bit with Larry trying to keep ahold of Amelia who is distracted by everything. They jump out of the picture and turn it around so the front faces the wall which traps the Egyptians inside. Larry says "Hey it worked". Amelia refers to the world in the picture as that "monochromatic madhouse".

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