Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Ben Stiller lives in a giant toy box called Hollywood. He has looks, wealth, talent, prominent parents (Ben Stiller and Anne Meara), and an impre$$ive track record, both as an actor ("Meet the Parents" and "Night at the Museum") and as a producer ("Tropic Thunder" and "Blades of Glory"). From my perspective, it looks as though he can phone pretty much anyone he wants and they show up for cameos in his films. This time out he musters:
  • Amy Adams ("Doubt" and "Enchanted"), is appealing as spunky aviatrix Amelia Earhart.
  • Robin Williams ("Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Patch Adams"), once again makes a bully Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Owen Wilson ("Shanghai Noon" and "Starsky and Hutch"), repeats his miniature cowboy action figure, Jedediah Smith, originated for the first "Night in a Museum" outing.
  • Steve Coogan ("Hamlet 2" and "Tropic Thunder") is another miniature action figure, Jedediah's sidekick, Roman soldier Octavius.
  • Christopher Guest ("Spinal Tap" and "Mrs. Henderson Presents") resents that his character is called Ivan the Terrible; he thinks it should be Ivan the Awesome!
  • Hank Azaria ("American Sweethearts" and "The Birdcage") is villainous as a lisping Egyptian pharaoh Kamunrah, and then proceeds to show us his stuff as a voice actor (LOTS of TV characters), by voicing both statues, The Thinker and Abe Lincoln.
  • Ricky Gervais ("Extras" and "Stardust") comes back as a museum official who resents any and all changes to his beloved New York Museum of Natural History.
  • Keith Powell (lots of TV) is rock solid as a Tuskegee Airman who commiserates with Earhart, "They didn't think WE could fly, either!"

Because I love history, this was far more interesting to me than the first "Museum" offering, and the enormous Smithsonian makes a much bigger playpen for our boy wonder, Mr. Stiller. I had a good time!