Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian - Movie Review

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN (***) - Starring Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Bill Hader, Christopher Guest, Jon Bernthal, and the Jonas Brothers.
Directed by Shawn Levy.

This felt like Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Movie. For kids. There are so many characters thrown at the screen, so many puns and asides and one-liners, that some of them have to be funny. And some are. And by the end, I'd felt like I'd had a sugar rush. Is it better than the first one? Maybe. It's not worse.

Ben Stiller returns as our everyman Larry, now a successful infomercial entrepreneur, but he's saddened when he learns that most of the exhibits from the natural history museum are going to be archived under the Smithsonian. Then he learns an evil pharaoh is going to come to life with the magic tablet, and he could bring about world domination.

In addition to the crowded cast listed above, there's cameos from two Office regulars, two Reno 911 regulars (who also wrote the script), two Apatow vets, Darth Vader, Oscar the Grouch, George Foreman, Abraham Lincoln, American Gothic, and a giant octopus.

Rising above the fray is Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart, who's ready to verbally joust as quickly as Kate Hepburn against Cary Grant, even if Larry isn't up on his jiminy-crickets rat-a-tatspeak.

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