Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Review: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

People who have traveled with me know that I am a geek about museums. Even on an intensely baseball-oriented trip like this coming week, I always manage to squeeze in some "cultuh." So, you know that one of my favorite recent films was "Night at the Museum," the story of a museum coming to life after hours. I loved it!

So I was pretty excited to see the sequel, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian." Security guard Larry Daley is back, although he's moved into private industry. He's called into action when most of the exhibits from the Museum of Natural History are put into storage at the Smithsonian - and the tablet of Ahkmenrah goes along. (The tablet is the reason all the exhibits come to life at night.) Larry must liberate the tablet, all the while dealing with all the newly enlivened statues, paintings, and historical relics.

I liked the sequel almost more than the original! There isn't a lot of time spent on explication - so the action is non-stop. How fun to see Ivan the Terrible and Napoleon duking it out, "American Gothic" coming to life, and George Custer struggling with low self-esteem. But the film is stolen by two characters: Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart and Hank Azaria as Kahmunrah. When they are on screen, you don't see anyone else. Adams in particular is fantastic as Earhart - just the right blend of sexiness and "moxie." Ben Stiller is, well, Ben Stiller. Cute, funny, he carries the picture along.

It's a non-stop ride through the halls of the Smithsonian and American history. I can't wait to see it again, because I'm sure I missed all kinds of little details!



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