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Now showing at Brunei Gallery, SOAS 10,Thornhaugh Street,London,London WC1H 0XG 020 7898 4046/

  • Night At The Museum 2

Night At The Museum 2 2 stars

movie title

Kind-hearted security guard Larry Daley has left behind his old job at the Museum of Natural History to head his own company yet he hankers for the excitement of the good ole days with President Teddy Roosevelt, toy cowboy Jed and mighty Octavius and his legions of inch-high Roman soldiers. Returning to his old haunt, Larry is distraught to learn that all of his favourite exhibits have been packed up in crates and shipped off to the archives of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.. Having arrived at their new home, Jed and co inadvertently wake Egyptian ruler Kahmunrah from his eternal slumber and the dastardly pharaoh plots to take over the world with the help of Ivan The Terrible, Al Capone and Napoleon.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Children's, Comedy, Drama, Family, Family
  • CastBen Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Amy Adams, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Ricky Gervais, Christopher Guest.
  • DirectorShawn Levy.
  • WriterRobert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration104 mins
  • Official sitewww.nightatthemuseum.com
  • Release20/05/2009

History is brought vividly to life with a dazzling array of computer generated effects in Night At The Museum 2, a soulless exercise in digital might over emotional subtlety. Directed once again by Shawn Levy plus all the cast of the 2006 family-oriented blockbuster reprising their roles, the sequel continues the misadventures of the living exhibits from New York City's famed Museum of Natural History.

Screenwriters Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon allow the visual effects wizards to run riot by relocating the storyline to the largest museum complex in the world: the hallowed halls of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

Thus, in a chase around one gargantuan warehouse, Ben Stiller's beleaguered night guard ends up dodging the tentacles of a giant squid as a pterosaur swoops overhead and General Custer (Bill Hader) screeches into battle on his trusty motorcycle.
"What's the plan here?" wonders Larry Daley (Stiller).
"We're Americans. We don't plan, we do," grins Lincoln, aiming that particular rebuke at the current American administration.

Children will giggle at the bobblehead Albert Einsteins and one of Pop artist Jeff Koons' shiny balloon dogs bounding excitedly around the display gallery. There will be chuckles aplenty too when Stiller finds himself spanking not one but two mischievous Capuchin monkeys. Predominantly, however, humour skews towards teenage and adult audiences, poking fun at historical figures such as Napoleon and Abraham Lincoln, whose memorial on the National Mall goes on a stroll.

Security guard Larry Daley has left behind his old job at the museum to front Daley Devices infomercials, which has just launched the glow in the dark torch. Returning to his old haunt, Larry is distraught to learn from Dr McPhee (Ricky Gervais) that many of the old exhibits are being replaced by state-of-the-art holographic technology, condemning cowboy Jed (Owen Wilson), mighty Octavius (Steve Coogan) and his legions of inch-high Roman soldiers and Shoshone tracker Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck) to storage. The waxwork of President Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and the bones of Rexy the playful a Tyrannosaur remain but everything else is crated off to Washington, including the golden tablet.

Having arrived at their new home, Jed and co discover that Egyptian ruler Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria) has woken from his slumber and is now plotting to take over the world with the help of the similarly re-animated Ivan The Terrible (Christopher Guest), Al Capone (John Benthal) and Napoleon Bonaparte (Alain Chabat). Flanked by his old pals plus a few new friends too including the beautiful and gutsy Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), Larry attempts to put the historical despots back in their place before he too becomes just another footnote in his nation's history.

Night At The Museum 2 regurgitates and recycles everything that worked in the first film, and garnishes with new characters including The Wright Brothers and Degar's iconic dancing girl. The ever likable Stiller generously surrenders the biggest laughs to Azaria's plummy pharaoh, who is momentarily distracted by the quest for "the cube of Rubik."

A scene in which Kahmunrah makes bold threats if Larry dares to touch the tablet again smacks of improvisation and is hysterical. Stiller and Adams gel nicely, the latter positively luminous as a no-nonsense gal who says what she thinks, telling Larry plainly, "What I see in front of me is a man who has lost his moxy." Painful.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 26th October 2014
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