Tonight Patty and Grace were at a girl scout campout, so I took Jacob to the movies. I thought we were going to see Pixar's UP, but when we got there Jacob wanted to see Night at the Museum: The Battle of the Smithsonian.
Oddly, I never saw the first film despite the fact that we own it. But the kids love it and I was not surprised by his desire to go. The movie starts off with almost everything in the museum being shipped off to the "Federal Archives" under the smithsonian, in order to be replaced by a bunch of holographic displays. The time this movie takes to get to the smithsonian seems to be somewhere between 2 and 3 hours, but is in fact quite a bit shorter than that. The problems here are greater than just pacing.
Ben Still delivers a rather typical Ben Stiller role. Some of his lines and delivery remind me of Mystery Men. Unfortunately it was funny and fresh then, now it seems a bit tired. The first half of the movie rather dragged for me. Things began to pickup at the Air and Space Museum when everything came alive, but honestly I found myself thinking that as solid as the concept was, they really didn't utilize that material very well.
I began to enjoy the movie more in the last third or so, as the humor began to connect better and things finally got moving. The highpoint was the the performance of Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart. She sold the role far better to me than the rest of the actors and actresses in this film and was a nice relief against the rest that seemed rather wooden to me. I was also surprised at how much of the cast was from "The Office" and how little they were used. Great talent squandered.
Still, I was glad to come to the end of the movie. It wasn't a bad movie, but I don't see myself ever watching it again. It was marginal at best. I'd say it earns a C, or 2.5 stars, depending on whatever system you like to use...