Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is no longer working as the night guard at the Museum of Natural History. His career as an inventor has taken off, and he is now the owner and CEO of a company that makes and markets his inventions, like the glow-in-the-dark flashlight. While he’s much better off financially, he’s not happy.
He visits the exhibits at the museum for the first time in a long while, and discovers that they are being replaced by holographic computer displays. The exhibits themselves are being sent to the Smithsonian archives – the storage basement, in other words. And they’re being sent without the tablet of Ahkmenra, which allows them to come to life at sundown.
Larry is unable to do anything to stop the move, and thinks that’s the end of that until he receives a frantic phone call from Jedidiah (Owen Wilson), one of the miniatures from the museum collection. It seems the mischievous monkey Chester smuggled the tablet onto the moving truck, and now all heck is breaking loose as all of the Smithsonian exhibits have come to life, including Ahkmenra’s nasty older brother, Kahmunrah.
Larry heads to Washington, D.C. to save his friends – and meets a new cast of historical characters, including Al Capone, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einsten, and Abraham Lincoln.
This sequel had more in-jokes for the adult crowd, since the Smithsonian is full of pop culture artifacts like Darth Vader’s costume, Muhammed Ali’s silk boxing robe, and the easy chair of Archie Bunker. The casting was terrific, too – Hank Azaria was hilarious as Kahmunrah, and I was delighted to see in the credits that he also voiced The Thinker and Abraham Lincoln. The best part of the movie, though, is Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart. She’s spunky and full of moxie and has a bit of a crush on Larry.
Four out of five boxes of popcorn.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Two-Disc Monkey Mischief Pack) will be available on DVD on December 1st. This two-disc special edition has a ton of bonus features, including an alternate ending, a gag reel, and a ton of other monkey business.
Disclosure: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was provided to me on DVD by Click Communications for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on the link and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage.