Monday, June 8, 2009

A fun, frolicking follow-up :)

Title: Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian
Format: Drive-In Theater
Rating: B+

A great sequel. Better than the typical straight-to-DVD sequels every production company is spewing out. Not as good as the first, but seriously, how often does a sequel surpass the original?

Description (from Barnes & Noble): The good-hearted dreamer Larry Daley must say good-bye to his famous friends from history who magically came to life during closing hours at New York's Natural History Museum. They are being replaced by virtual hologram exhibits, and the originals have been packed up and shipped off to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Then, Larry learns that the ancient Egyptian tablet of Ahkmenrah was also shipped by mistake, which allows the new acquisitions to come back to life! Among them are an evil ancient pharaoh, Ivan the Terrible of Czarist Russia, the American gangster Al Capone, France's Emperor Napoleon, and the famous woman pilot Amelia Earhart. It's Larry's job to stop a nefarious plot by evil-doers in that group. Fortunately, Larry gets vital help from Amelia Earhart. Here's a delightful concoction of comedy, adventure, and fantasy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I saw this Saturday night, one half of the double feature playing at the Warwick Drive-In. The theater was packed! It got so crowded, people were parking in the exits, leaving no way out. A safety nightmare.

I really liked this movie, despite what "the critics" have to say. But really, who cares what they think? (Warning: If you like "the critics," as in the nationally published and revered like Ebert, don't read the rest of this paragraph. Or this whole blog for that matter.) After all, "the critics" liked Atonement... Atonement! Why do "the critics" love slit-your-wrists, unhappy-ending, I-think-I'll-go-cry-myself-to-sleep movies? Do they actually enjoy sitting through those morbid and/or depressing movies? Are they like the Academy members who think to themselves, "Let's take the most depressing, and usually unheard of, film and give it an award"? I think the Academy and "the critics" are being paid off by the industry so that these slit-your-wrist, artsy, unknown films get press and therefore make more money than they would have originally. Why is it so difficult for them to like the popular, funny, happy, and yes, somewhat cheesy family fun? Because that's exactly what Night at the Museum 2 was.

This movie took several of the major characters of the last movie and moved them to a new setting so they could bring in a whole new set of characters. And having the movie take place in D.C. at the Smithsonian was a great idea. The Smithsonian's size and range of exhibits helped separate this film from the last. The Museum of Natural History was primarily full of stuffed animals, wax figures of varying sizes, and dummies. The Smithsonian had those too, but it also had statues, pieces of art, machines, toys, puppets.

The plot wasn't brilliant; cheesy is the perfect word to describe it. But we all need a little cheesiness in our lives, and it was perfect for a movie focused towards kids. I think people tend to forget that when they see these movies. They write the movie off as sappy and dumb, because they're no longer at that humor level. (Although I will never undertand how anyone can claim that kids' movies are too cheesy, and then say with a straight face that Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey comedies aren't cheesy; they're "classic." I'm so sorry to disillusion you, but Dumb & Dumber is stupid and cheesy, and there are about a thousand family/kids movies that surpass it in quality and humor.) If you're an adult going to see this film, you can really get into it and enjoy it, as long as you remember that the movie you're about to see is geared towards children, not you.

There is some crude humor thrown in there just for the grown-ups though, stuff that hopefully flies right over the kids' heads, as well as character references that only an adult would know. I did notice that the amount of the crude/sexual humor increased for this movie, which was disappointing for me. I'm still a kid at heart, and I don't think a movie needs to throw that kind of stuff in to make the older audience happy.

Overall, I think this movie was pretty good. It brought back all of my favorite characters from the first movie, introduced a bunch of hilarious new ones (the lisping pharoah is one of the best), had a little romance, threw in a little lesson, and did a great job at keeping us entertained with its cheesiness. B+

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for commenting! I always appreciate reading what you have to say.