Ben Stiller is back as Larry Daley, but this time with the memories of walking, talking museum figurines resolutely tucked away in the pockets of his yuppie suit, complete with beeping Blackberry and all.
Finally making a name for himself with “Daley Devices”, a successful business inventing and marketing unique household products, Larry inadvertently neglects the museum and its nocturnal inhabitants. When he returns to reminisce, he discovers that most of the exhibits will be shipped off to The Smithsonian’s deep storage facility in Washington.
Through a fluke, the enchanted tablet of Ahkmenrah travels with them to The Smithsonian, bringing to life the inhabitants of the world-famous Washington museums and the movie’s antagonist Kahmunrah, Ahkmenrah’s evil older brother.
Played by Hank Azaria, Kahmunrah is astounded at his resurrection, a point he reiterates ad nauseum through his proclamations that he has “come back to life!” Upon realization of the tablet’s miraculous powers, he sets out on world domination with the help of some of the world’s greatest villains — height-impaired Napoleon Bonaparte, monochromic Al Capone and Ivan the Terrible.
It is up to Larry, now museum-wise and unfazed by the antics of the capering museum exhibits, to figure out how to save the day.
Assisting him is the spunky Amelia Earhart (played by Amy Adams), who shows Larry what he is missing by being a Blackberry-toting yuppie. Naturally, they fall in love, while serenaded by a boy band group of singing cupids.
Although Larry and Amelia share wonderful chemistry, Hank Azaria steals the thunder with his hilarious portrayals of the lisping Kahmunrah, the dim-witted Thinker and Abraham Lincoln. Further embellishing the adventures of Larry and Amelia are world famous classics, sculptures, paintings, and even the Wright brothers’ plane.
Despite having his old gang from the first installment missing for the most part, Larry is never alone. Replacing Rex, the bone-chewing T-Rex, is a giant octopus that happily clicks like a dolphin when Larry tips water from an ocean painting on it and a bust of Teddy Roosevelt that helps Larry out in exchange for a scratch on his bronzed nose.
Without a doubt, Night at the Museum 2 will leave children itching to visit the local museum and leave history-lovers in stitches. Though not as fresh as the first movie, the antics of Kahmunrah and his attempt to have the world before sundown and the heart-warming bromance between Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Octavius (Steve Coogan) make for an entertaining night at the movies.