NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 - More Of The Same
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 (fantasy comedy)
Cast: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams (pictured), Robin Williams, Hank Azaria, Luke Wilson, Jonah Hill and Christopher Guest
Director: Shawn Levy
Time: 105 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: The 2006 original was a fun-filled fantasy trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York. It was a blast for both the kids and the adults when the exhibits, especially the T-Rex and President Teddy Roosevelt, come to life that Night At The Museum.
This sequel basically shifts the action to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC where we get more of the same Jumanji-type action - without much cerebral input into the plot. In fact, the whole second instalment looks uninspired and uninspiring. We don't feel for the characters, not even Ben Stiller's Larry Daley as he tries stir up another frenzy among the animated artifacts. The action remains a comic book adventure - and the mandatory twist at the end merely helps to ease our way out of this juvenile treat.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The Museum of Natural History is closed for renovations and some of the pieces are moved into storage at the Smithsonian. Soon, however, former security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) gets a call from miniature cowboy Jedediah (Luke Wilson) at the Smithsonian about some trouble there - and Larry takes the next flight to check it out.
'Infiltrating' into the Institute, Larry meets icons like Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), Abe Lincoln, General Custer (Bill Hader) and some nasties like Kahmunrah the Pharoah (Hank Azaria), Napoleon Bonaparte (Alain Chabat) and gangster Al Capone (Jon Bernthal) who are bent on ganging up and taking over the world. Amelia insists on joining Larry in his quest to set things right.
HITS & MISSES: Parents get the DVD of Night At The Museum for their kids because it provokes their curiosity and interest in American and natural history. This sequel does the same - introducing even more interesting characters and events, not only from history but also from television and the movies (like the Muppet Grouch and Darth Vader). There are also grand set pieces like biplanes flying out of the museums and stuff coming out of paintings.
For the adults, however, Number Two is rather stale because it does not have a plot that is engaging enough for its stunts. The gags are mostly repetitive - like Kahmunrah's lisping, Amelia's gungho attitude, etc. There is never a sense of danger in the proceedings - and Larry's presence in the story seems superfluous.
THE LOWDOWN: Mostly kiddie-level fun.