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Review: Night at the Museum

May 24, 2009

You know that old saying, “the sequel is never as good as the first?” That’s not the case with Night at the Museum 2.


Last night Duane was fishing and the kids and I were in need of our own Saturday night treat, so out we headed for Mexican food and a movie. Usually I’ll try to wait for kids’ movies to come to the dollar theater, but the only “kid” movie there this week was Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and I was just not too sure about that one. We had loved the first installment of Museum and it was either that or Hannah Montana, so in deference to Lawson and with the niggling suspicion that Museum might be a smidgeon better, we went ahead and sucked it up and spent the full [matinee] price for it. It was worth every penny.


If you’ve seen the first Museum you know the basic plotline. Ancient tablet has mystical powers that bring the museum figures to life at night. Night guard Larry Daley befriends and keeps them safe and in line at night. It’s the same basic situation for the sequel, except the contents of the NY museum are being shipped off to the Smithsonian archives while the NY museum undergoes major updating. Hello, opportunities for massive multiplication of the tablet’s powers. Larry, now the inventor of the glow-in-the-dark flashlight, journeys to Washington to attempt to restore the table (and the figures) to their rightful place in New York and attempt to prevent all heck from busting out.


The cast was rife with cameo performances, such as a hilarious episode with Jonah Hill from Superbad as a naïve and ineffectual guard who gives the nod to Larry Daley’s awesomeness. Others include pretty much the entire cast of the previous Museum, Amy Adams as a feisty and sexy Amelia Earhart, Hank Azaria as the evil, lisping Rah-men Noodle Pharaoh.


The humor was just as rich and genuinely funny as the first, with jokes aplenty for the young and old alike. It was good, clean humor, too—crooning cupids, bobblehead Einsteins, dueling Capuchins, and, perhaps best of all, a crestfallen Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch being told they’re just not “bad enough” to join the Pharaoh’s gang.


One of the best things about this movie (and the first) is its way of inspiring kids to want to visit museums, and find value and worth in the exhibits. As Ben Stiller’s character strode into the Air and Space Museum, I leaned over to Autumn and whispered to her, “I went there when I was a kid.” I could see her eyes get big in the darkness, reflecting the light from the screen. “You’re going to go there in August.” She turned to me in a rush.


“I am?! Really?”


That kind of reaction would not have been elicited by a simple announcement over supper one night. Nah. I’m pretty sure I waited for the right moment. Now she will dream of the Smithsonian—the Tsar Nicholas exhibit, the Degas, the plane that Amelia Earhart flew, Rodin’s Thinker.


I’m just hope that when she stands in front of the Thinker, she won’t just visualize him coming to life, throwing a Rocky accent, and showing off those “guns.” 😉

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2009 1:56 pm

    You know, I was thinking that I wouldn’t go and see the sequel. Now, after reading your ‘review,’ I think that I just might do so.


  2. May 24, 2009 1:58 pm

    Thanks for the review… I heard a terrible review of this movie on the radio but all of the REAL people who have seen it seem to have higher praise for it. I’m looking forward to taking most of my crew to see this one. They loved the first.

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