Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quick Movie Review: Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)


While not as organized as the first film, Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is still a funny and entertaining movie for all ages. The humor for the parents is better, however there is a larger drop off of jokes from adult to child, whereas the first film blended them together better. Here, we see a lot more juvenile jokes that are taken overboard at times.

And I know that the kids don't see the plot holes, but you would think that there wouldn't be so many more in this sequel. The whole movie you find yourself asking question after question for clarification of the character's decisions, but they never end up making sense. While in some films you can find "good enough" answers for many of these questions, this movie will leave you concluding that the writing was just lazy. For instance, where are all the other night guards? And couldn't Larry have just turned the middle tile on the tablet to freeze the characters when things got too chaotic? And what is the tablet's range of magic? Does it go beyond the museum it's being kept in, or is it city-wide?

While lacking the element of surprise of its predecessor, it also blows the opportunity to answer some lingering questions about the rules of the film universe--things usually dug into deeper in a sequel. However, we aren't just not given answers, but the conscious lack of information is exploited in order to make the premise work. And then towards the middle of the second act things get a little chaotic and the plot holes open even wider. The chaos may be attributed to the thinly stretched plot.

Then we realize that there are issues with the character development. Larry's character goes back to where he started at the beginning of the first movie and has to figure out the same issues to get him to where he had finished. He's solving the same exact personal issues that were already solved in the previous film--a tactic that is a result of lazy character development.

On positive notes, the cast gets even stronger here. While we don't get the pleasure of Robin Williams on screen for all that much, Hank Azaria is amazing as the main antagonist.

Although this film is still entertaining for the easily amused, the poor script and the character depth issues still hinder it from becoming on par with the first film. But like I said before, it's a movie made for kids after all.


Twizard Rating: 74

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