Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2 1/2

Genre: Action Comedy. Main actors: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azania. Director: Shawn Levy

FILM SYNOPSIS: In this sequel to the 2006 Night at the Museum Ben Stiller continues his role as Larry Daley. The former night guard has become a wealthy inventor of small gadgets and learns that the Museum of Natural History in New York has archived many of its old exhibits. These historical treasures he had protected and treated as his friends are being shipped to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., for storage. Larry makes it his mission to rescue the exhibits from oblivion, and the battle of the Smithsonian begins.

Non-stop action, along with the historical characters coming to life, will capture the imagination of old and young alike. Watching hilarious spoofs of ancient and modern historical villains and heros makes for a fun experience. Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) jumps into the fray with courage and a love of adventure that wins Larry’s heart. Owen Wilson as cowboy Jebediah Smith grins and bears his captivity in an hour glass while sand slowly threatens to bury him. Robin Williams looks a lot like Teddy Roosevelt and portrays him with humor. Even Abraham Lincoln (Hank Azania) comes down from his memorial and counsels Larry on winning his fight against the likes of Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) and Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest).

Another fun aspect of the movie is the action at the Smithsonian Museum. We see Larry and Amelia inside the Air and Space Museum mobilizing the Wright Brothers airplane and flying it. A prehistoric skeleton of a giant dinosaur joining the battle will excite youngsters.Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is a refreshing escape movie well worth the price of admission.

PREVIEW REVIEW: While at first glance Amelia Earhart appears to be a flighty airhead (pun intended), and General Custer (Bill Hader) seems to be a silly, narcissistic buffoon more concerned about his golden locks than fighting, there is more to their characters. Larry learns the truth about himself from the wise Abe Lincoln which helps him make some major changes in his life. The former night guard’s loyalty, determination and protection of his helpless friends may impress youngsters.

On the other hand, heroic Larry also deceives others in gaining access to the Smithsonian, tampering with the archives and instigating massive property damage. This earns the film its PG rating, along with the several instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Some of the historical characters who provide much of the humor may not be familiar to young children. As always, knowledge and discretion are the key for parents’ decisions about family entertainment.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Crude Language: Several “damns” and “hells”
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: A few exclamatory expressions taking the Lord’s name in vain.
Violence: Action style of fighting, dangerous situations and threats, but no blood or injuries.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Deception (main character poses as employee); battle creates mayhem and damages museum building; tampering with archived treasures; good messages about life work being what you love, not what you earn; fun and adventure should be part of life, but not entirely; stand up for the underdog
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Children 6 and older, Family

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (