Friday, August 6, 2010

Battle of the Smithsonian -- 2008

Night At the Museum 2
Battle of the Smithsonian

Rated PG for some violence and language
My Rating: 5 Stars

Ben Stiller
Amy Adams
Owen Wilson
Hank Azaria
Robins Williams
Christopher Guest
Alain Chabat
Steve Coogan
Ricky Gervais
Bill Hader
Jon Bernthal

“I'm sorry, but we're all full up in our axis of evil today. Sorry.” [Kahmunrah] (Hank Azaria)

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has a new job. He finally had a success with a flashlight... the Glow in the Dark flashlight. In fact, he actually owns a prospering company entitled, “Daley Devices”. He enjoys the fame and the money and the new apartment... but he feels as though he's missing something from his life.

One night, he decided he needed to go see his friends at the Museum of Natural History (if you haven't seen “Night at the Museum” you should watch it first) to talk about the old times. But when he arrived, he found everything in disarray. All of the waxworks were in boxes and packing peanuts with new displays to replace them. Larry's friends were being shipped to Washington D.C. to find their final resting place in the archives of the Smithsonian.

“Larry, I can see that you're genuinely slightly bothered about this.” [Octavius] (Steve Coogan)

Larry is bothered about the changes. Especially when he realized that the tablet of Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) was staying was staying behind at the Museum of Natural History with him, along with Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and Rexy. But truth be told, he wouldn't have done anything about it (other than trying to [unsuccessfully] convince the board of directors that the museum loved the waxworks) if he hadn't received a phone call the next evening from... Jed (Owen Wilson), of all people.

Dexter had snitched the tablet before slipping into his crate (and smashing Larry's fingers). Therefore, the entire Smithsonian, the largest museum in the world, had come to life. And there was someone there who wanted that tablet above of all else.

“I am Kahmunrah. I am half-god, once removed on my mother's side.”

That someone was Akhmenrah's older, much meaner brother. He knows more about the tablet than he should and he intends to use it to it's maximum power. He wants to rule the world. And it will be up to Larry and his friends to stop him. But can they outwit someone as evil as Kahmunrah and his buddies... Ivan the Terrible (“...the correct translation is 'Ivan the Awesome'... I wasn't terrible. I was, in fact, quite an effective leader.”) (Christopher Guest) and Al Capone (“...ok. You hang onto French Toast and...) (Jon Bernthal) and all his other evil companions.

“You don't seem very bad. You just seem sort of vaguely grouchy to me.” [Kahmunrah speaking to Oscar the Grouch]

What I Liked:
1: This film was the same type of story as the original but included so many new and different dimensions that it seemed very much like it's own.
2: Well acted, well directed, etc, etc. Wonderful movie, period.
3: The humor. It's great. Make sure to watch the deleted scenes. I love watching young Al Capone talk to the old Al Capones. “Did you know about this? I'm gonna be fat!”
4: The score. Very pretty.
5: I love how they got so many well known people to play on this film. As Shawn Levy said, sometimes, they didn't even have to ask. That's great. They deserve recognition for the great work they created with both films.

6: The adventure really does get scary when you're watching it for the first time.
7: There is a moral to the story, as well. And more history. :-)
8: The Thinker.
9: Art coming to life. That was a brilliant idea! One of my favorite things about the movie. :-)
10: When Octavius and Jed (in slow motion) attack the enemies feet with swords. How can something be so awe inspiring and funny at the same time? Only with Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan.
11: Dexter is back... with a friend. :-) “You smack. You kick. You smack. You kick.”
12: The little Einsteins. They made me laugh out loud.
13: And of course, the romance. It was rather nice. :-)
14: Orville and Wilbur Wright. You do rock, guys. Keep eating ice-cream. (For those of you who don't know, the actors were the script writers of both films... and they finally got a few lines to say. :-))
15: Make sure to listen to both of the commentaries. They are both highly informative and one especially is hilarious.

What I Didn't Like:
1: Some of the score is a little too rocky for my liking but it is in passing. :-)

“Adios, Bird-brains!” [Jed]

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