Night at the Museum / Battle of the Smithsonian : 4 of 5
I really enjoying seeing the original Night at the Museum a few years ago, so I was kind of excited to check out this sequel, even though this movie is just pure goofy entertainment. I can't really pin down the reason why, but I just had a fantastic time! It has nothing to do with the characters, since there is practically no development (even though they try to get a brief moral across about doing what you love), and while the special effects are cool, they aren't miles ahead of anything else you can see these days. I guess it's just the magic of the idea that makes these movies click for me - I love seeing museums I have visited and real works of art and history that I've seen in person actually coming to life! Something new this time around is living paintings and photos - it was awesome to recognize so many famous ones and see them moving, and I loved the scene where Ben and Amelia Earhart jump into the classic VJ Day photo (which leads to a funny scene during the closing credits). Speaking of Amelia, Amy Adams was super-cute and hilarious in the role, and I got a kick out of her cliched slang and adventuresome attitude. Seeing the whole Air & Space Museum filled with activity was pretty awesome, and I enjoyed the exciting flying scenes (it makes no difference to me that the Wright brothers' flyer could never make those moves - remember, this is magic!). I think they could have done more with the Darth Vader scene, but Oscar the Grouch totally made up for it. It was also kind of interesting to see no less than three cast members of The Office in small roles in a single film. There's no doubt this movie is all fluff, but it's high quality and exceptionally fun fluff, and I hope they figure out how to make a third one!