Night at the Museum: A sequel that gets it right

2009-05-25 00:00

STER-KINEKOR & CINECENTRE

Film: Night at the Museum 2

YOU’VE got to love big-budget Hollywood blockbusters …

The best special effects, an A-list cast, and just about anything and everything you can think of — a real (imported) cherry-topped package.

Why we keep flocking to the cinemas every time one of these goes on circuit is because we want to see how each blockbuster outdoes the rest (admit it, it’s true).

This is also the reason why we watch sequels.

Now, when a sequel of a Hollywood blockbuster releases, it is a fair enough assumption that our standards are especially higher.

But the sad reality is that nine out of 10 times, we are left disappointed.

Night at the Museum 2 is definitely a case of that one time where a sequel (more so a sequel of a Hollywood blockbuster) actually gets it right.

The idea of everything in a museum coming to life after hours is brilliant. But it’s been done in the first movie, so how do you take it to the next level?

Well, for starters, you set the movie in the biggest museum in the world: the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. You can already imagine the chaos, right?

The movie is set a few years after where its predecessor left off … Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) quit his job as a night-time security guard at the museum and has become a successful businessman.

During a visit, he discovers that many of the exhibits that (literally) kept him company during his shifts are being moved to the Smithsonian to be kept in storage because they’ve reached their sell-by date.

He receives a call one night from Jedediah (Owen Wilson), one of the miniatures that were shipped off, telling him that the stuffed Capuchin monkey stole the Egyptian slab that brings them to life from the museum, and now — chaos at the Smithsonian!

When he gets to Washington, he learns that Kahmunrah (a falling Egyptian king, played by Hank Azaria) and some of the world’s most notorious men, including Napoleon Bonaparte and Al Capone, want to use the slab to summon warriors from the underworld so that they can take over the world.

It is now up to him and his soon-to-be love interest (and exhibit at the museum) aviator Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) to save the day.

Now, the plot may be a tad predictable at times, but the script alone makes up for this.

I found it refreshing that most of the humour in this film actually came from the dialogue.

This is something — in my opinion — that comedies of late have been lacking. It is also something that has made the great comedies of yesteryear legendary … the kind of dialogue that doesn’t require the shock value of vulgarity to make you laugh.

On top of that, the special effects were phenomenal. I saw things in this movie that I’ve yet to see in others.

It is clear that a lot of money went into the garnishing of this production — and it certainly deserves a return on investment.

The sweet taste this movie’s imported cherry-top left in my mouth was enough to make me want to go back for seconds — and I might just.

****

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