Night at the Museum 2 (Rated PG)
Gavin Grade: B
The last time Ben Stiller spent the night at the museum it got crapped all over by critics but raked in over a half-billion dollars worldwide. However the second time Stiller gets trapped in the museum...well, nothing much is different. But I'm one of the people who don't understand why these movies don't get the love they deserve. Maybe the inner-kid in me is still loving the concept of a whole museum coming to life. When I was a kid and my dad would take me to the museums in Philadelphia, I had that fantasy and would even imagine what that would be like. So to see it in vivid life on the big screen is awesome! I actually found the first one very funny as well as adventurous. But the comedy was definitely punched up for the sequel. When you add gifted comic actors like Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest, and Bill Hader to the already existing comedy team of Stiller, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, and Steven Coogan; then add the adorable sexiness of Amy Adams...hey, I'm on board! (By the way, Adams is one helluva an actress. I knew that already but she commits to her part in this with the same "moxy" that she does when she's vying for an Oscar in others.) It's also fun to sit back and count the cameos that float through like Johah Hill, the cast of The Office, the cast of Reno 911, The Jonas Bros and Eugene Levy's voice. The fact that the special effects are as plentiful as a Star Wars movie amazes me because with such an expensive production you'd think they wouldn't allow improv from the actors at all. I'm glad they did though. Some of the improvised scenes between Stiller and Azaria (who steals the show) and the "axis of evil" had me almost in tears. Of course the story is a little absurd. I know it's a kid's movie, but the motives for the plot in the sequel are a little bit of a stretch. That being said, I hope they end these movies on this one so we don't need to imagine a worse plot but as long as they continue to make gobs of money, I'm probably wrong.