Monday, April 22, 2013

Night at the Museum 2 (Shawn Levy, 2009) Review

Robin Williams was memorable as Teddy Roosevelt, don't you think? No? Okay then, that's fine considering  that the writers of the first film clearly didn't care about him anymore. Ah well, it was only naturally for a...reasonably popular film to get a sequel (who am I kidding, every film gets a sequel). Well then, let's see if the sequel can redeem some of the major flaws or maybe make them ever worse.

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has become a successful inventor, making ideas he had in the previous film, and is doing pretty well for himself. For a bit of nostalgia, Larry visits the Museum where he worked as a nightguard and runs into his old boss Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais) who tells Larry that a majority of the exhibits are to be stored in the Smithsonian. Larry returns home to recieve a phone call from Jedidiah (Owen Wilson) telling him that they are trapped by the Egyptian monarch, Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria). Larry must now infiltrate the Smithsonian and save the exhibits from Kahmunrah's wrath. 

Yes, this film actually has a plot. Now that is definitely a step up from last time and the idea of placing the story in the Smithsonian was also a great idea. It offers much more imaginative scenarios (such as Kahmunrah's henchmen being Al Capone (Jon Bernthal), Napoleon (Alain Chabat) and Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest) and a cameo from Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch). There are also some great new characters such as Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) and a brilliantly portrayed General Custer (Bill Hader). They were certainly more memorable than Ben Stiller who is still being...Ben Stiller. Even Hank Azaria brings his normally comical self to the film which offers some humorous moments. 

Naturally it's not all good. Firstly, Robin Williams is reduced to a one scene cameo and it basically wipes out most of the characters from the first which bugs me a bit and, while Hank Azaria was enjoyable, he wasn't exactly what the film was looking for. He kind of stuck out. I will admit the the humour can be a bit strenuous at times at is definitely not for everyone. It's not perfect but, hey, it's not trying to be.

Night at the Museum is a slight improvement over the original with the most notable addition being an actual plot and some during funny and epic (no, seriously) moments. It still has some problems left over from the original but I can see there was some more effort put into this. The general consensus is that the fist one is the better film but I just can't bring myself to agree. If you didn't like the first, this isn't going to change your opinion but, for what it is, I like it enough.

A slight improvement over the original but it isn't exactly going change your opinion on the first film.

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