Night at the Museum 2 (PG)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/05/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Entertaining sequel that survives its paper-thin plot and lazy writing thanks to superb special effects and a trio of terrific comic performances from Amy Adams, Hank Azaria and Bill Hader.

What's it all about?
Ditching its US subtitle of Battle for the Smithsonian, Night of the Museum 2 sees Ben Stiller reprising his role as former night guard Larry Daley, who's now making a living as an inventor and is saddened to hear that his reanimated friends at the Natural History Museum are being shipped off to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. However, when he receives a distress call from miniature cowboy Jedediah (Owen Wilson), he rushes to the rescue, only to discover that Egyptian ruler Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) has come to life and is planning to enslave mankind.

Fortunately, help is at hand, in the shape of a reanimated, fast-talking Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), General Custer (Bill Hader), a bobble-headed Albert Einstein (Eugene Levy) and a giant squid. Unfortunately, Kahmunrah has assembled a trio of powerful allies, including Napoleon Bonaparte (Alain Chabat), Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest) and Al Capone (Jon Bernthal).

The Good
As with the first film, the effects are excellent, particularly on the giant squid. Unfortunately the script is extremely lazy and basically just rehashes all the best jokes from the first film – for example, what's funnier than Ben Stiller being slapped by a monkey? Ben Stiller being slapped by two monkeys.

It's also fair to say that the main characters from the first film aren't as funny this time round, but thankfully the film is just about rescued by a trio of terrific comic performances from Amy Adams, Bill Hader and Hank Azaria, who appears to be channelling Boris Karloff and is on top form throughout.

The Bad
Director Shawn Levy maintains a decent pace, but the film still suffers from lazy plotting and a lack of tension throughout – there's no sense of danger in the finale, for example. Similarly, Stiller seems bored for long stretches of the film and fails to inject Larry with any real personality.

Worth seeing?
It's fair to say that if you enjoyed the first film, you won't be disappointed with Night at the Museum 2 (kids, in particular, will love it), but it's neither as funny or as exciting as it should have been.
Night at the Museum 2 London Premiere

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Night at the Museum 2 (PG)
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Content updated: 11/12/2019 08:00

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