When I first went to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City last fall, I was amazed by what was featured there. My favorite aspects were dinosaur fossils, the Egyptian collection, the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Cape York meteorite, the largest meteorite to be shown at a museum. It was the best museum I’ve ever attended. You could stay there hours upon hours continuing to find something new, because the facility is so massive. When I was told Night at the Museum was filmed there, I had some interest in seeing it. Of course, only the exterior shots were filmed at the actual museum, the interior scenes were done in Vancouver (sorry to spoil it for some people). I ended up straying away from seeing it because it didn’t look very good. Just a regular family comedy. I still haven’t seen it because it’s received more negative criticism than positive. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian doesn’t look very good either. Just more of the same.
Ben Stiller reprises his role as Larry Daley, a security guard who experienced strange things during his night details at the Natural History Museum. During his shifts, he would see such things as mannequins of historic figures and fossils of dinosaurs coming to life. These sorts of things happen again, but at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. It will be the first major feature to film there, even though some shots will be filmed in Vancouver once again. With the Natural History Museum being closed for refitting, the displays are moved to the Smithsonian. When two of the mannequins, Octavius (first emperor of Rome, Steve Coogan) and Jedediah Smith (famous American explorer, Owen Wilson), are shipped there by mistake, Larry must sneak in as a security guard to rescue them. This doesn’t prove easy when more of the historic pieces come to life.
This movie will feature a ton of guest stars and cameos that will play the historic figures. Some notable ones are Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), Kuh Mun Rah (Hank Azaria), Albert Einstein (Eugene Levy) and General Custer (Bill Hader). Jonah Hill plays a security guard and Dick Van Dyke returns as Cecil Fredericks. Shawn Levy, who directed the first Night at the Museum, remains for this one. Original writers Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant (Reno 911! fame), who adapted the first film from the 1993 children’s book of the same name by Milan Trenc, supply the script here, as well. Lennon and Garant will also appear in the movie as the Wright Brothers.
This should be appealing to families, just as the first one did, despite the already dried formula.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian opens May 22nd.