Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Night at the Smithsonian

The newest Ben Stiller movie, Night at the Museum: The Battle for the Smithsonian, opened huge this past weekend, and I'm not surprised at all. The first movie, I liked as decent entertainment, with Ben Stiller playing a pretty funny straight man against the insanity that was a come-to-life museum exhibit. The new movie follows our now successful hero to protect the still-life exhibits as they're shipped to be stored at the Smithsonian. However, our cheeky monkey from the first movie has stolen the gold tablet whose magic turns them to life, and is bringing it to the largest museum in the world. This movie had a lot to live up to, bringing to life even more and crazier characters, including Al Capone, Ivan the Terrible, Amelia Earhart, and Abraham Lincoln. It was bigger and more over the top than the first one, but didn't really improve on the original. There was a terrifically funny scene between Stiller and Jonah Hill, and a few historical references that were fun (Jay Baruchel finds a cell phone when Stiller drops it in his painting and Joey Motorola is his name). Amy Adams was terrific as Earhart, but just like their characters, Stiller and the rest just couldn't keep up. There were a lot of little throwaway lines, but overall it just wasn't as good as the original. 3.5 of 5 stars/lambs

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