Rewind Mini-Review – Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian


As those who know me, and if such a person exists, cyberstalk me, know I created this blog after writing on another site, which shall remain nameless, for a while. The point is, I have material sitting around waiting to be re-used on occasion I will re-post them here. Some of those articles or reviews may have been extemporaneous at the time but are slightly random now, hence the new title and little intro, regardless enjoy!

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

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is an interesting film in a couple of ways. The first is that the writers actually felt the need to justify the sequel, which most don’t and they did that in two ways. The second creates a bit of an issue. The exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History are being moved out to make way for holographic exhibits. Why they felt the need to make a point by creating that bogus scenario or why they felt the need to move the story to the Smithsonian is beyond me.

Ben Stiller’s rendition of an infomercial pitchman was rather humorous. What I feared going in was that there would be too many characters in this one and that fear didn’t really come to fruition. A lot of the supporting cast with smaller parts were really good and did a lot with them. It’s truly a case of the actors outperforming the script. Many of them put a lot more into their part than any reasonable person could ever expect to get. Amy Adams especially was breathtaking and took simple dialogue and made it profound and took things that could’ve been cheesy and made them poignant.

Having said all that, the film really does start to drag in the latter half of act two. Alan Silvetsri’s score at many times seems discordant to the action especially the seemingly “Tubular Bells” inspired piece when Ben Stiller is first breaking into the Smithsonian and skulking around.


What does make up for that is that the dialogue remains pretty sharp throughout and despite pacing issues it does stay funny. The device of walking into picture frames, especially having some scenes and even a character or two in black and white, helped keep the film fresh.

Ultimately, it was a sequel that, again, wasn’t altogether necessary but conversely not a complete waste or disappointment.