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"NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN"
(2009) (Ben Stiller, Amy Adams) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor Heavy Mild Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Minor Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A former museum night guard tries to rescue his museum figure friends -- that magically come to life at night -- from an Egyptian pharaoh figure that's likewise now animated and desirous of resurrecting his army of the dead.
PLOT:
It's been several years since Larry Daley (BEN STILLER) worked as a night guard at New York City's Museum of Natural History. Despite now being a successful infomercial entrepreneur and product inventor, Larry misses his former friends at the museum, but he can only visit them at night.

That's because thanks to an ancient Egyptian tablet with magical powers, various figures there -- Attila The Hun (PATRICK GALLAGHER) and his crew, Lewis and Clark's Indian tracker Sacajawea (MIZUO PECK), miniature diorama figures cowboy Jedidiah (OWEN WILSON) and Roman emperor Octavius (STEVE COOGAN), and former President Teddy Roosevelt (ROBIN WILLIAMS), not to mention several Neanderthals, a T-Rex skeleton and a capuchin monkey known as Dexter -- come to life at night after the museum is closed.

Things are going to change, however, due to the museum undergoing renovations where most of the figures will be sent to the Federal Archives located underground beneath the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. And with the magical tablet staying put, that means those figures will never come to life again. Accordingly, when Larry gets a call for help from Jedidiah, he decides to travel to D.C. to set things straight.

After stealing a security pass, he enters the underground complex only to find Egyptian pharaoh Kahmunrah (HANK AZARIA) -- the older jealous brother to his 3,000-year-old counterpart in the New York museum -- has likewise come to life thanks to Dexter the monkey taking the magical tablet with him. Kahmunrah wants to resurrect his army of the undead, but Larry and newly animated fly girl Amelia Earhart (AMY ADAMS) manage to elude and leave his guards inside a painting.

Accordingly, Kahmunrah enlists the likes of Ivan the Terrible (CHRISTOPHER GUEST), Napoleon Bonaparte (ALAIN CHABAT) and Al Capone (JON BERNTHAL) as his new minions whose task is to catch Larry and force him to decipher the Egyptian tablet's secret code. That's all while Larry and Amelia get help from General George Armstrong Custer (BILL HADER) and gigantic stone President Lincoln (HANK AZARIA) from his monument to try to thwart the new museum villain.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the first film, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild action and brief language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BEN STILLER plays the former security guard turned successful product entrepreneur who misses his old museum friends and thus sets off to save them from Kahmunrah, teaming up with Amelia and others to try to save the day.
  • AMY ADAMS plays spunky fly girl Amelia Earhart who's up for most any adventure, sometimes having to drag Larry along for the ride and thrills. Despite knowing her limitations (being a museum figure magically come to life), she ends up somewhat falling for him.
  • HANK AZARIA plays the Egyptian pharaoh, jealous of the attention paid to his younger brother, and thus desirous of showing his stuff by unleashing his army of the undead and taking over both the museum and the world. But he must contend with Larry and the others getting in his way, and while he's a megalomaniacal despot, he has a goofy side to him as well.
  • OWEN WILSON plays the self-assured cowboy figurine who seems oblivious to his stature in comparison to others or the dangers he faces. He briefly makes a sexually related comment about accidentally coming into contact with Amelia.
  • STEVE COOGAN plays his former adversary turned buddy who sets out to save him and the others.
  • ROBIN WILLIAMS plays the former president who informs Larry of the museum's plans and tries to give him advice about how to live his life.
  • CHRISTOPHER GUEST, ALAIN CHABAT and JON BERNTHAL play various notorious historical figures who end up serving as Kahmunrah's minions.
  • BILL HADER plays General Custer whose bravado hides the fact that he views himself as a failure based on his famous past.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated comedy. Profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. There's one instance of non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue, while there's also seem brief kissing and "living" museum figures (male) that appear to be completely nude, but no genitalia are present or seen.

    Comedy and action-based violence is present, including characters battling or striking each other (although not graphically or exactly in a realistic fashion), while there's some threatening with weapons and some slapstick style material that's also present.

    While most of that's played lightly, those scenes and a few moments of potential peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to the youngest of viewers, but probably no one else. Some of the action and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while comedy based bad attitudes are present as is very brief tense family material.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a flying POV shot through a museum.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A happy giant squid hugs Larry, thus getting sticky goo and such on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Despite being told by a young security guard not to touch a museum exhibit, Larry does just that. The perturbed guard then taps Larry with his flashlight, prompting Larry to grab and then hold that around the guard's throat.
  • Larry then steals the young security guard's ID card so that he can enter a secure area under the museums. He then dons a security guard outfit to impersonate such a person.
  • Kahmunrah wants to resurrect his army of the undead from the underworld and take over the museum and then the world, using the likes of Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon and Capone as his enforcers.
  • To force Larry to figure out how to decipher an ancient Egyptian tablet's code, Kahmunrah puts Jedidiah in a sand-filled hourglass and turns it over, thus starting it. Later, we see it filling up higher and higher around the tiny cowboy.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed here and under "Violence" might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to very young viewers, but probably no one else.
  • Larry gets a desperate sounding phone call from Jedidiah about Kahmunrah.
  • Kahmunrah wants to resurrect his army of the undead from the underworld (which sounds worse than it turns out to be).
  • To force Larry to figure out how to decipher an ancient Egyptian tablet's code, Kahmunrah puts Jedidiah in a sand-filled hourglass and turns it over, thus starting it. Later, we see it filling up higher and higher around the tiny cowboy.
  • Kahmunrah gives the order for Larry to be killed (not in his presence).
  • Amelia has Larry take the controls of the Wright Brothers' plane as she fixes something as they fly through a museum. A monkey then hits a button that opens a wall, thus allowing them to fly just under rather than crash into it.
  • Kahmunrah gets his Egyptian temple code and thus summons his army of the undead. They fly in as an atomized swarm before turning into spear wielding, bird-headed warriors.
  • A T-Rex skeleton lets out a loud roar at some kids who think he's lame.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Spears/Dagger/Battle Ax/Battle Scythe: Carried and/or used to threaten or battle others. See "Violence" for details.
  • At various points in the film, we see various museum figures and figurines holding various weapons, including bows & arrows, spears, swords (Roosevelt, Attila the Hun, Octavius), handguns (Jedidiah, Custer), Tommy guns (Al Capone and two of his men), muskets (Napoleon's soldiers) and such.
  • Small fighter plane models fly through the Air & Space Museum and we hear the sound of machine guns.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Are you the primate garbage police?" "If it ain't mister big in the britches himself," "None-none, dum-dum," "Gigantor," "I-T-T" (Intent to touch), "My bad," "Kisser" (mouth), "What's your name, flyboy?" "Sack in the box," what sounded like "I'll fork you," "You boob," "You haven't been able to take your (what sounded like "cheaters") off my chassis," "Listen up, kemo sabe," "You are crazier than a road lizard," "Criminy, we're jimmy-jacked," "Great Gatsby," "You'll freak a lot of people out," "Sit your fanny back down," "Blah, blah, blah...I never lie!" "Damn, that was disappointing," "Well, whistle me Dixie," "Well, this is awkward," "You fool," "I don't know about you boys, but this old cowboy just got to second base," "Animatronics suck" and "Gum-gum, dum-dum."
  • Some kids might be inspired to imitate the action, stunts and other behavior that occurs in the film.
  • Despite being told by a young security guard not to touch a museum exhibit, Larry does just that. The perturbed guard then taps Larry with his flashlight, prompting Larry to grab and then hold that around the guard's throat before opening the light and dropping the batteries from it (as if disarming it).
  • Custer repeatedly goofs up the pronunciation of Sacajawea's name (for laughs on the part of the film).
  • Jedidiah and Octavius do a chest bump.
  • Liking the looks of a statue of Venus, the statue of the Thinker flexes his biceps and says, "Check out these guns," followed by "Firepower!"
  • Amelia slaps Larry and then kisses him, and then repeats that.
  • Larry and two monkeys take turns slapping each other repeatedly (kids might do this to each other).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, action-oriented and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 damns, 3 uses of "Oh my God" and 2 uses of "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see the famous VJ Day photo showing the dip and kiss, and then see a live-action version of the same. Needing to avoid detection by Kahmunrah's warriors, Larry cuts in and kisses that same woman.
  • Amelia playfully tells Larry (about him checking out her clothed body), "You haven't been able to take your (what sounded like "cheaters") off my chassis."
  • Various flying and animated cupids show bare butts, but no apparent genitalia.
  • We see the Thinker statue, shirtless, on several occasions, and he's apparently nude, but we don't see any genitalia. He likes the looks of a statue of Venus (bare back) and then flexes his muscles for her.
  • Amelia slaps Larry and then kisses him, and then repeats that.
  • Amelia and Larry briefly kiss and hug good-bye, with Jedidiah (who was in Larry's front jacket pocket) saying, "I don't know about you boys, but this old cowboy just got to second base" (apparently referring to being up against Amelia's clothed chest -- the contact is not seen).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Larry's son dejectedly asks if his dad's working at night again, and Larry briefly mentions taking him to his mother's.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The comment that people like what's next (at places such as museums that replace old exhibits with the latest in technology).
  • The comment that it's sometimes more noble to tell a small lie than the painful truth.
  • The comment that if you're not excited by something, why do it.
  • Jedidiah states that Larry needed help since he was all gussied up (as a successful entrepreneur) but was dead inside.
  • The comment that the key to happiness is doing what you love with those you love.
  • The Smithsonian museums and what's contained within them.
  • Amelia and Larry briefly kiss and hug good-bye, with Jedidiah (who was in Larry's front jacket pocket) saying, "I don't know about you boys, but this old cowboy just got to second base" (apparently referring to being up against Amelia's clothed chest -- the contact is not seen).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Dexter the monkey twice slams his crate lid onto Larry's fingers.
  • Despite being told by a young security guard not to touch a museum exhibit, Larry does just that. The perturbed guard then taps Larry with his flashlight, prompting Larry to grab and then hold that around the guard's throat.
  • Kahmunrah's minions hold spears on Larry.
  • Knowing what's inside and needing to get away from Kahmunrah's spear-wielding minions, Larry opens a crate that releases a giant squid that grabs the warriors and tosses them about, allowing Larry to escape. Yet, he later encounters that same squid that blasts him back a long ways into a crate.
  • Larry drives a motorbike with Custer in the sidecar, and the two knock over some of Kahmunrah's guards in passing (the bike hitting some, and Custer's flagpole hitting others). Custer then stands up , accidentally clotheslines himself on a girder and falls to the floor. Moments later, a spear lands in the front tire of the motorbike, and then more land in the wall all around Amelia, but don't hit her.
  • Larry grabs the pitchfork from the American Gothic painting, and Amelia throws it at one of Kahmunrah's warriors who catches it. Various spears are then thrown at them, but miss.
  • Napoleon holds a dagger on Larry.
  • Amelia slaps Larry and then kisses him, and then repeats that.
  • A squirrel (giant-sized in comparison to his miniature stature) comes at Octavius, picks him up, bites his helmet (as if a nut) and then drags him away (but he's later seen okay, riding that squirrel).
  • Some Tuskegee airmen struggle with Kahmunrah's minions.
  • In a hurry to stop Kahmunrah, Amelia and Larry crash their small plane through a glass wall, sending Larry rolling across the floor, while Amelia crashes into a large display case while still in the plane (both are okay).
  • Capone twice hits an Einstein bobble-head on the head.
  • Kahmunrah's bird-headed warriors throw spears at the gigantic monument version of President Lincoln, but those spears bounce off his stone body. He then flicks some of those warriors away.
  • A big battle breaks out between the good and bad guys, with struggling, flipping and hitting, as well as some brief sword sparring and such (played for action and comedy rather than realism, and no one seems harmed by any of that). During this, Larry avoids a battle ax swung at him.
  • Larry and two monkeys take turns slapping each other repeatedly.
  • Octavius uses his helmet to break the glass of an hourglass holding Jedidiah, thus freeing him.
  • Jedidiah and Octavius use their miniature swords to stab various villains in their shoes and legs, thus leaving them hopping and hobbling about.
  • One monkey punches one of Al Capone's goons, followed by the other kicking him.
  • Al Capone slaps Napoleon, who then jumps on Capone and the two struggle.
  • Kahmunrah tries to hit Larry with what looks like some sort of scythe, with Larry blocking that with a flashlight until he's disarmed of that and must avoid more swinging of scythe. On the floor, Larry then kicks Kahmunrah in the face, gets control of him by using the flashlight, and then throws him into the Egyptian temple chamber where he dissolves into an atomized swarm.



  • Reviewed May 14, 2009 / Posted May 22, 2009

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