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Night At The Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, released 2009
"Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" was as fun, adventuresome, and comedic as its predecessor "Night at the Museum" based on the children's book with the same title authored by Milan Trenc. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Patrick Galligher, Rami Malek, Jake Cherry, and Mizuo Peck once again reprised their roles with as much enthusiasm and expertise as they did in "Night at the Museum". Wonderful to see them again in the same movie! Truly an experience I am glad was not missed.
"Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" begins two years after the ending of "Night at the Museum". Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is single and a very successful inventor of things like a glow in the dark flashlight. He owns his own business and has his own promotional television show selling his inventions. Larry Daley has become the epitome of the word "entrepreneur" and no longer works at the Museum of American Natural History where the exhibits come to life nightly because of the very special golden Egyptian tablet of Ahkmenrah. His son, Nick (Jake Cherry), is of course older and extremely computer savvy. All is great with the Daley's and on a whim Larry stops by the Museum of American Natural History. To his surprise it is being renovated and many of the exhibits are being replaced by high technology holographic state of the art exhibits. The museum's director, Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais), points out the importance of keeping up with the times in order to entice the young to visit the museum, but admits the museum has not been the same since Larry left. For old times sake, Larry decides to stick around and visit with the exhibits since a good portion of them are being sent to the The Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. This becomes a very special night for him, especially when Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) informs Larry that the Golden Tablet of Ahkmenrah would be staying and those exhibits being archived would no longer be within the proximity of the tablet for re-animation. Larry expresses sadness, but agrees that it is best not to tell those like Jedediah (Owen Wilson), the cowboy, and Octavius (Steve Coogan), the Roman general, that this was their last night "alive". Kinder to let them think they will wake up again. The next night, while Larry and Nick are reflecting about the mueum and how sad for the exhibits archived, Larry receives a cell phone call from Jedediah saying that Dexter (Crystal),the mischievous Capuchin monkey, has stolen The Golden Tablet of Ahkmenrah and that the Pharoah Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), Ahkmenrah's (Rami Malek) evil brother, was attacking the exhibits archived in The Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution. This cry for help Larry cannot ignore which motivates him, with the aide of Nick, on a rescue mission of the exhibits to save them from the evil Pharaoh and return the golden tablet to the Museum of American Natural History.
Most of this film takes place at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The plot has the primary character, Larry Daley, go into and under "The Castle" (original building of the Smithsonian Institution), as well as visit the National Air and Space Museum, and the National Gallery of Art. Shows just enough to make one want to visit these places. The cast and crew under the direction of Shawn Levy created a great sequel to "Night at the Museum" and should be commended for the special affects plus expert performances that comprised the great viewing experience given in "Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian". Good to see the Lincoln Memorial and the White House grounds too. Awesome!
Rest of primary cast (in order given by credits) included: Amy Adams (Amelia Earhart), Christopher Guest (Ivan the Terrible who preferred being called Ivan the Awesome), Alain Charat (Napoleon), Bill Hadar (General Custer), Jon Bernthal (Al Capone), and Mizuo Peck (Sacagewea).
"Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" is rated PG and one hour and 45 minutes in length. It is available on DVD and great family entertainment. Highly recommend!