Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart

Convoluted plot and too many characters to have fun with any of them

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Night at the Museum:  Battle of the Smithsonian

Studio:  21 Laps

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  May 22, 2009

MPAA Rating:  PG


Honest Abe will destroy you!!!

Times have changed for Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) since his nights as a museum watchman.  Now, Larry has a successful TV invention infomercial series and is writing his own ticket.  When Larry learns that his friends at the museum are being put into storage at the Smithsonian, trouble erupts when Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) tries to claim the Golden Tablet of Akhmenrah for himself.  Forced to break into the Smithsonian, Larry befriends Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) and sets out to stop the armies of Kahmunrah as the Smithsonian is plunged into chaos.


How could you not love the Jonas Brothers Cherubs?

Directed by Shawn Levy, Night at the Museum:  Battle of the Smithsonian is sometimes referred to as Night at the Museum 2:  Battle of the Smithsonian.  It is the follow-up to the popular 2006 film Night at the Museum.  The movie still received mixed reviews but was a box office success.

I thought Night at the Museum was a fun (but simple) film that primarily was for children and families.  The second entry in the series continues this trend, but has an even more convoluted story than the previous film with the main hook being a larger scale museum.


The gang is all here!

Once again the Golden Tablet of Akhmenrah’s abilities are kind of fluid and undefined.  The movie is literally all over the place with multiple museums, underground passages and trips outside of the Smithsonian to the Lincoln Memorial at the end of the Mall (and the reach and any long lasting effects of the Tablet aren’t really touched upon).  The basic plot of Kahmunrah to resurrect his army is lost in all the running around and seems rather anticlimactic at the end.

Likewise, the expanded nature of the movie means an expanded cast.  Amy Adams is a nice addition to the cast as Amelia Earhart, but a lot of the original cast gets sidelined by the roaming story.  Hank Azaria really eats up his scenes as Kahmunrah and it is good to have more of a “villain” than the previous entry, but there is just too much going on.


Who is more evil?

The effects did improve from the first entry to the second entry without making you say “wow, that looks better”.  That is a challenge since you can’t change the whole format of a film, but the movie has some nice stuff including a trip back into the classic V-J Day in Time Square Stiller and Adams actually entering the black-and-white Time Square.  The location also lends itself to an appearance by Oscar the Grouch and Darth Vader.

Night at the Museum is a rather forgettable franchise but kids will like it since there are so few true tween movies out there now that don’t really talk down to them.  Despite its success, it took another five years to make a sequel.  Night at the Museum:  Battle of the Smithsonian is followed by Night at the Museum:  Secret of the Tomb which is promoted as the end of the “trilogy”.

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Related Links:

Night at the Museum (2006)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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