"I have come back to life!"
Two years after Larry Daley (Stiller) started working at the Museum, he has left security behind and started selling some of his inventions. He still returns to the museum however but he has been so busy of late he hasn’t visited in a while. When he does however, museum creator Dr. McPhee (Gervais) tells him that the board has decided to modernise the exhibits and the old attractions are to be put in storage at the biggest museum in the world, the Smithsonian in Washington DC. After failing to stop it, Jedediah (Wilson) calls Larry to say that they are been attacked by Kahmunrah (Azaria), who wants the magical tablet that brings them to life to help him take over the world.
If a movie is successful at the Box Office then the studios clamber for a sequel, which is usually just more of the same but for ‘Night at the Museum’ this isn’t a bad thing.
Back in 2006, director Shawn Levy moved on from making films like ‘Big Fat Liar’, ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ and the appalling remake of ‘The Pink Panther’ to this first big budget, effects filled blockbuster, ‘Night at the Museum’. With a simple premise of an Egyptian artefact bringing Museum exhibits to life at night and new security Larry Daley struggles to keep them under control. This, of course, was a life changing experience for Larry and provided many a laugh along the way. This was a huge success and a sequel was inevitable.
The problem with most sequels is that they seldom are match for the original film and, in most cases, are just a rehash of the first movie and ‘Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian’ is more of the same but in this case, it isn’t a bad thing. The story picks up with Larry now a famous inventor and extremely rich. He has moved on from museum however and really drops in to see Jedediah, Teddy Roosevelt, Octavius and the rest of the gang but when museum curator Dr. McPhee and the board decide to modernise the exhibits, meaning most of gang is to be packed into storage at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Without the power of the tablet, those going into storage will never come to life again but when cheeky monkey Dexter steals the Egyptian artefact, all hell breaks loose at the Smithsonian and it is up to Larry to save the day.
While the premise isn’t much of a change, Shawn Levy and his creative team haven’t changed the main ingredient that made the first movie such a hit, the fun factor. All your favourite characters from the first movie are back. Joining the returning Ben Stiller as Larry Daley are Teddy Roosevelt, once again played by Robin Williams, Rexy the Tyrannosaurus Skeleton, Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Steve Coogan) and Dexter the Capuchin Monkey are all back but we have some new exhibits that are ready to come to life. The always-excellent Amy Adams joins the fun as the headstrong legendary aviator Amelia Earhart, Christopher Guest is Ivan the Terrible and Bill Hader has fun as General Custer. It is Hank Azaria who steals the show however as the villainous Egyptian Kahmunrah, as well as providing the voices for The Thinker and Abraham Lincoln.
Filled with fun moments, genuine laughs and lots of high jinx, ‘Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian’ is just as much fun as the first movie. With great visual effects and some fun cameos, this is a great family movie and a must for all fans of the original.
PICTURE & SOUND
The Blu-Ray disc presents the movie in High Definition wide screen 2:40 up to 1080p, with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound. The release also includes the DVD and Digital versions of the film, covering all of the formats for ‘Night at the Museum’ fans.
Commentary by director Shawn Levy
The man returning to the helm for a second Museum adventure provides a fun and informative track on the making of the movie.
Commentary by writers Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
Comic writers and actors talk about their second trip to the Museum and talk about not trying to rehash the story but continue the adventure on a much bigger scale.
Scavenger Hunt Mode
While watching the movie, see how many of the museum treasures you can spot.
The Curator of Comedy: Behind the Scenes of Night at the Museum 2 (27.52 mins/HD)
Director Shawn Levy and stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Bill Hader, Steve Coogan, Christopher Guest, Ricky Gervais and Hank Azaria talk about the new museum adventure.
Historical Confessions: Famous Last Words (6.29 mins/HD)
Al Capone, Napoleon, General Custer and Ivan the Terrible talk about their contribution to history.
Directing 201: A Day in the life of director/producer Shawn Levy (19.19 mins/HD)
Spend a shooting day with the director and see how much work you would have to do if you were at the helm of a big Hollywood blockbuster.
Caveman Conversations: Survival of the Wittiest (4.18 mins/HD)
Watch an interview with the hapless cavemen and see if you can understand what they are talking about.
Museum Magic: Entering the world of the photograph (5.41 mins/HD)
See how director Shawn Levy and his creative team recreated 1940s Times Square when Larry and Amelia when through the picture.
Secret Doors and Scientists: Behind the Scenes of the American Museum of Natural History (15.58 mins/HD)
Take a tour of the New York museum that inspired the first movie and was reinvigorated by the success of the franchise.
Phinding the Pharaoh (4.50 mins/HD)
Shawn Levy and Hank Azaria talk about creating the voice for Kahmunrah.
Primate Prima Donnas (6.27 mins/HD)
Director Shawn Levy and stars Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Bill Hader and Amy Adams talk about working with Dexter and Abel.
The Jonas Brothers in Cherub Boot Camp (3.53 mins/HD)
Director Shawn Levy puts Kevin, Joe and Nick through humiliating training exercise for their cherub roles.
Deleted Scenes (26.44 mins/HD)
Entitled ‘Out of Town Emergency’, ‘Brunden: Director’s Cut’, ‘Meet Ivan, Napoleon and Al Capone: Extended Version’, ‘Ivan interrogates Larry’, ‘World Twister’, ‘Capone gets inspired’, ‘Custer’s Plan: Extended Version’, ‘How many bad guys can you fit in an elevator?’, ‘Moon Rover’, ‘Takin’ em down Gangster style’, ‘Larry ‘s prep talk to Custer’ and ‘Alternate Ending’, these deleted, extended or alternate scenes are accompanied by a commentary by director Shawn Levy.
Gangster Levy (1.57 mins/HD)
The director talk about this small cameo in the movie.
Gag Reel (7.51 mins/HD)
Watch Ricky Gervais, Hank Azaria, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader and Robin Williams adlib their lines.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scenes (9.36 min/SD)
Go behind the scenes of Air & Space Museum sequence in Night at the Museum 2.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: World Premiere (5.29 mins/SD)
Watch the world premiere of Night at the Museum 2 at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
The Blu-Ray treatment for ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ is one that fans will enjoy. With two commentaries, deleted scenes and loads of featurettes, this is an excellent value package and when you throw in ‘Triple-Play’ (Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Copy), then you have a great value package that fans will revel in.
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