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Stars indicate the most critically-acclaimed movies.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
20th Century Fox
MPAA RATING: PG for mild action and brief language
Night has fallen upon the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The guides have gone home, the lights are out, the school kids are tucked in their beds...yet something incredible is stirring as former night guard Larry Daley finds himself lured into his biggest, most imagination-boggling adventure yet in which history truly comes alive. In this second installment of the Night at the Museum saga, Larry faces a battle so epic it could only unfold in the corridors of the world’s largest museum. Now, Larry must try to save his formerly inanimate friends from what could be their last stand amid the wonders of the Smithsonian, all of which, from the famous paintings on the walls to the rocket ships in the halls, suddenly have a mind of their own. (20th Century Fox)
Robert Ben Garant
| RELEASE DATE:
Theatrical: May 22, 2009
||105 minutes, Color
||USA | Canada
All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...
Battle of the Smithsonian has plenty of life. But it's Adams who gives it zing.
Nothing elegant about Adams here, but she's terrific -- a sparkling screen presence. Her Earhart hoists this big-budget sequel above the routine.
Takes a great idea -- what if the inhabitants of a museum came to life at night? -- and milks it for every drop of fun it's worth.
Though it's a little slow to start and some of the humor clunks, the film features a wholesome charm, some truly dazzling effects (the Lincoln Memorial alone is worth it), and enough mild, parent-nip in-jokes to keep all but the stone-hearted happy.
It’s funnier this time, but still veers noticeably from kid-friendly slapstick to adult-friendly banter.
The Hollywood Reporter
Some of that frenetic running around has been replaced by inspired effects sequences and amusing riffs by the talented cast, especially new arrivals Hank Azaria and Amy Adams.
New York Daily News
Far surpasses original.
M. E. Russell
Your 12-and-unders will dig it, and it might even serve as a sort of movie-Bookmobile and get them to read a little history, or at least a little Wikipedia. But otherwise it's utterly dispensable.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Unfortunately, once these creatures do come to life for a second outing, the promise soon evaporates and the clever comedy, built largely on crisscrossing anachronisms and various sly cultural references, is not enough to sustain a romp that is all rather predictable.
The New York Times
Shallow and harmlessly diverting picture.
San Francisco Chronicle
Some of the results are delightfully loopy. Some are cornball.
The problem with NATM:BOTS is that Stiller, Adams, and company seem to be pretending that they're having fun, too.
Where the original had a vaguely tenable narrative hook (deadbeat dad finds redemption through nocturnal heroics), the new pic seems purely a vehicle for lavish visuals and cheap gags.
It's harmless. And pointless. And dumb. This is a perfect example of a motion picture that exists exclusively because its predecessor made a lot of money.
Resembles an enthusiastic but undisciplined child running amok through an exhibit.
Wall Street Journal
Beware of idiocy's charms.
Without Azaria's comedic gifts, the movie would be close to unendurable.
Christian Science Monitor
Being touted as the first film ever shot in the Smithsonian complex. With any luck, it will also be the last. This is not the best use of our landmarks.
The museum sparkles, but the movie is awfully dull.
Los Angeles Times
It's not so much a movie as a series of running antiquity gags, good for a comedy club, not so much for the multiplex.
Bloated with visual effects, this sequel to the 2006 hit starts off slowly, reintroducing the original characters.
The money shots of the living tableau are padded with jokes that feel embalmed before the actors get them out of their mouths.
It's bigger, noisier, shinier, and dumber, and it has no earthly reason to exist.
Oh, did I dislike this film. It made me squirm. Its premise is lame, its plot relentlessly predictable, its characters with personalities that would distinguish picture books.
Even Ben Stiller looks bored out of his mind in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and he got paid several million dollars to star in it.
The Onion (A.V. Club)
It’s a busier and less coherent film, too, with a baffling master plot and a crowded pileup of special effects in search of something to do.
New York Post
Seems to go on for several days and nights, though in fact it lasts just 105 minutes. I checked my watch. A lot.
Staff (Not credited)
Feels like a re-hash.
The average user rating for this movie is 6.4 (out of 10) based on 11 User Votes
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