Night at the Museum:
Battle of the Smithsonian
|Directed by||Shawn Levy|
|Produced by||Shawn Levy
Robert Ben Garant
and Robin Williams
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Editing by||Don Zimmerman
|Studio||21 Laps Entertainment
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||May 22, 2009|
|Running time||106 min.|
|Preceded by||Night at the Museum
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (known outside of North America as Night at the Museum 2), is a 2009 American comedy film and the sequel to the 2006 adventure comedy film Night at the Museum. The film stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest, Alain Chabat, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Bill Hader, Jon Bernthal, Patrick Gallagher, Jake Cherry, Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck, and Robin Williams. It was released in cinemas on May 22, 2009.
Two years after Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) defeated the three night guards that plotted to steal The Tablet, he is now head of Daley Devices, a company that he founded to manufacture his inventions. These inventions, including The Glow-In-The-Dark Flashlight, The Unloseable Keyring, and The Oversized Dogbone, were created from his experiences as a former night guard. Upon revisiting, he finds that The American Museum of Natural History is closed for renovations and upgrades, and some of the museum pieces are being replaced by interactive holograms due to budget costs. The actual exhibits are due to be moved to The Federal Archives at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. On the last night, Larry reconnects with his museum exhibit friends including Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Rexxy The Tyrannosaurus Skeleton, and Dexter The Capuchin Monkey (Crystal the Monkey) and when Larry asks Teddy where his crate was, Teddy tells him that himself, Rexy, The Easter Island head (Brad Garret) and Ahkmanrah and his Tablet are not making the Journey and are remaining at the museum-Without the Tablet the exhibits won't be coming to life anymore which is something Teddy didn't tell them so they can enjoy their final night. The next night, Larry gets a call from Jedediah (Owen Wilson), saying that Dexter stole The Tablet last midnight and evil Pharaoh Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), Ahkmenrah's older brother, is attacking him, Octavius, Attila the Hun, Sacagawea, Neanderthal and animals. Larry goes to Washington and visits The National Air and Space Museum, The National Gallery of Art and The Smithsonian Institution Building to find The Federal Archives with the help of his son Nick Daley (Jake Cherry).
Larry sneaks into The Archives and locates the exhibits, frozen in the middle of a battle with Kahmunrah and his troops, who are trying to lock the exhibits in a crate. Larry gets hold of The Golden Tablet Of Ahkmenrah, which had been stolen by Dexter, just when the sun sets and all the exhibits come alive again. Kahmunrah and his soldiers lock the crate and take The Tablet from Larry, and he tells Larry that bringing the exhibits to life is just one of the tablet's powers - he intends to use it to raise an army from The Underworld and conquer the world, by placing The Tablet into its sister artifact: The Gate Of Kahmunrah. Larry tries to convince Kahmunrah to give back the Tablet by telling him about the "Cube of Rubik". He leads Kahmunrah and his troops to a large box which he found earlier, opens the lock and from it escapes a "Kraken", which escapes and starts attacking everyone in its way and knocking over other exhibits, including those of a pteranodon and a saber-toothed cat skeleton. Larry manages to run away from the Egyptian troops and escapes with the help of General George Armstrong Custer (Bill Hader), who gets captured, and meets Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), who is thrilled at the prospect of adventure and accompanies Larry. Larry and Amelia then go through an assortment of paintings and photographs and trap Kahmunrah's soldiers in one (V-J day in Times Square). They escape Kahmunrah's men, but are captured by Napolean Bonaparte (Alain Chabat) and his soldiers, who joined Kahmunrah along with Ivan the terrible (Christopher Guest), and Al Capone. Napolean then takes Larry to Kahmunrah, separating Amelia from Larry.
Meanwhile Jedidiah and Octavius tries to help Larry but they are found out by one of Al Capone's goons, and Jedediah tells Octavius to run away while he distracts them, which leads him to get captured by Kahmunrah and places him in a hourglass, saying that within one hour, he will suffocate in the sand. Octavius sees this and vows to get reinforcements and save him.
Larry is taken to Kahmunrah and Kahmunrah then attempts to activate The Tablet to open The Gate Of The Underworld by pressing the symbols on The Tablet (which difers from the first movie, in which Akmunrah used an incantation to activate the Tablet's powers), only to find out that the combination has been changed. He orders Larry to decipher The Tablet's riddle and figure out the new combination before sunrise, and traps Jedediah in an hourglass to hasten his attempts. Larry and Amelia consult a bust of Teddy who says that the answer is in The Heart Of The Pharaoh's Tomb. The duo then consult The Thinker, but he gets distracted by a beautiful statue of Aphrodite. Larry an Amelia flee from Russian troops and arrive at the Lincoln Memorial where the huge statue of Lincoln comes to life. Finally, at The National Air And Space Museum, they consult a group of Albert Einstein bobbleheads who tell them that the answer to the riddle (and hence the new combination) is the value of pi (because The Tablet is a 3x3 grid, the combination is treated like a phone pad). Larry and Amelia fly the Wright Flyer, return to The Smithsonian Institution Building, and Amelia goes for help while Larry delays Kahmunrah. Ivan, Napoleon and Capone arrive and tell him the code (having intimidated one of The Einstein Bobbleheads into revealing it to them), and he opens The Gate Of The Underworld and summons an army of Horus warriors. Suddenly, the statue of Abraham Lincoln from The Lincoln Memorial bursts through the window, frightening the bird-men back to The Underworld. Amelia arrives, having freed the other exhibits and taken all of the Smithsonian's exhibets ( including the octopus, the "Thinker' and some stoneangels), and Custer orders them to attack. During this battle, Octavius frees Jedediah, who is now covered in sand to the head, by smashing the glass with his helmet. They then attack the gangsters, streltsys, and hussars by poking their shoes with swords à la 300. When Larry distracts Napoleon Ivan, and Capone, he runs into Kahmunrah, and when the battle ends Larry duels Kahmunrah with his flashlight (Which he took out of the locker room) and Kahmunrah is defeated when Larry kicks him and then grabs Kahmunrah by the neck. Kahmunrah gives Larry a final comment ("What are you?!") before Larry then banishes him into the underworld forever. Everybody then cheers a victory cry and Larry says that he only has an hour until sunrise and he tells the exhibits he wants them back at the museum. They wave goodbye to Custer, Thinker, and the gods of love, and Amelia then flies them back to New York where she tells Larry she knows that she won't be alive anymore. She then says her goodbyes and she leaves.
Teddy welcomes him back, and Larry assures him he has a way for them to remain there. He tells Teddy he'll remain at the museum and be happy, instead of working at Daley Devices. Some time later, it is revealed that Larry generously sold his company and donated the money to the museum to pay for Audio-Animatronics exhibits - since the museum now opens late, the exhibits can come to life under the guise of "animatronic" figures, including Teddy as a tour guide, Ahkmenrah and Dexter displaying The Tablet, and Attila as a storyteller. Larry is rehired at the museum as the night guard so as to watch over the rest of his friends, and meets a young woman who looks just like Amelia. The film concludes as they talk and walk off as Larry guides her toward The Hall Of Miniatures. Jedediah and Octavius then fly by in a miniature airplane. During the credits, a man from a black and white photo of V-J day in Times Square is seen examining Larry's Motorola Q cellphone, which Larry left in the photo, and makes a new discovery (for his time period). His mother calls him, and it is revealed that his name is Joey Motorola.
Writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon confirmed to Dark Horizons that they were writing a sequel to Night at the Museum, originally with a tentative title Another Night at the Museum. The writers said that "there'll be existing characters and plenty of new ones."
20th Century Fox announced that the sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and was released Memorial Day weekend 2009. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Patrick Gallagher, Jake Cherry, Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck, Brad Garrett and Robin Williams all returned for the sequel, with Shawn Levy back in the director's chair, and it was the first time a major Hollywood feature used the Smithsonian name in its title. It was not the first feature movie to be filmed in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.. It is largely being filmed in Vancouver. Due to the nature of the complex story more historical figures are involved, such as Amelia Earhart, who was be portrayed by Amy Adams, Kahmunrah/The Thinker/Abraham Lincoln was played by Hank Azaria, Ivan The Terrible was played by Christopher Guest, Napoleon Bonaparte was played by Alain Chabat, General George Armstrong Custer was played by Bill Hader, Young Al Capone was played by Jon Bernthal, Albert Einstein Bobbleheads was played by Eugene Levy and Cherubs were played by Jonas Brothers.
The film was confirmed as shooting a scene at the Lincoln Memorial on the night of May 21, 2008. It was also shooting a scene at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on the nights of the eighteenth and twentieth of August 2008 where a red airplane could be seen. The trailer was released with Bedtime Stories, Yes Man and Marley & Me in December 2008, January 2009 with Bride Wars, and again in February and April 2009 with The Pink Panther 2 and Dragonball Evolution.
The film was promoted as an opening skit on American Idol, where a replica of the Idol judge seats are being held at the real Smithsonian Institution.
Filmmakers loaned the Smithsonian Institution props used in the movie which were displayed in the Smithsonian Castle including the pile of artifacts featured in the film. The Smithsonian also made a brochure available online and at museum visitor service desks outlining where to find artifacts.
Like its predecessor, the sequel has received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 44% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 154 reviews, with an average score of 5.2 out of 10. Among Rotten Tomatoes' "Cream of the Crop", which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television, and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 33% based on 27 reviews. Another review aggretator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 42% based on 27 reviews.
Despite poor reviews from critics, most critics praised Amy Adams's and Hank Azaria's performances. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune awarded the film 3 stars stating that "...she's terrific -- a sparkling screen presence." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ stating "Battle of the Smithsonian has plenty of life. But it's Adams who gives it zing." Perry Seibert of TV Guide gave the film 2 stars despite honoring that "thanks to Azaria, a master of comic timing. His grandiose, yet slightly fey bad guy is equally funny when he's chewing out minions as he is when deliberating if Oscar the Grouch and Darth Vader are evil enough to join his team. Michael Rechtshaffen of the Hollywood Reporter and A.O. Scott of the New York Times enjoyed both performances.
One critic panned the movie on its excessive use of special effects as noted by Scott Tobias of the A.V. Club when he described the film as "a baffling master plot and a crowded pileup of special effects in search of something to do." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times awarded the film 1 1/2 stars out of 4 claiming "its premise is lame, its plot relentlessly predictable, its characters with personalities that would distinguish picture books." 
On Friday, May 22, 2009, its opening day, the film's estimated gross was $15,568,708, coming in ahead of Terminator Salvation (which released on Thursday) in 4,096 theaters at #1, reaching up to $54.1 million on its opening weekend. By comparison, Night at the Museum reached up to $30 million on its opening weekend in December 2006. The domestic revenue as of October 1, 2009, is $177.1 million along with $236.0 million from foreign countries with a total of $411,755,284 worldwide.
|2009||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Comedy||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||Won|
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was made available onto a Two Disc Special Edition and also a Three Disc Edition on a Digital Copy. The DVD and Blu-ray was released on December 1, 2009.
The video game based on the film was released on May 5, 2009. It was fairly well-received in comparison to the majority of film-based video-games, netting a 7.5 out of 10 from IGN.com.