CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ is Predictable, Clustered Drivel
CHICAGO – The sequel “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is, presumably, an effort by director Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum” in 2006 and “The Pink Panther”) and writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (who both wrote the first film) to weave together an exciting and educational film.
After all, the concept remains clever and plot endless in possibilities. Museum exhibits come to life through ancient magic with wildlife running amuck, significant historical figures repossessed and left to interact as well as all sorts of artifacts renewed and at the disposal of all.
Add to this formula a knockout cast – with Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Bill Hader and Jonah Hill – and one can expect hilarity and stimulation.
Instead, the filmgoer will quite amazingly find little engagement in this movie and instead will be confronted with a predictable, “when’s it going to end?” storyline that amounts to little but clustered drivel. The opposite of stimulating, the film simply numbs and dumbs the mind.
|Read Elizabeth Oppriecht’s full review of “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” in our reviews section.|
Upon opening, we find that former museum guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has left his job at the Museum of Natural History to pursue a more lucrative career: inventor and infomercial personality.
It becomes clear through rushed and skipped-about scenes that he’s unfulfilled in his new life and is quickly led back to wander the halls of his former museum-guard dwellings.
Upon his return to the Museum of Natural History, Larry finds that the majority of the exhibits he came to know in the original “Night at the Museum” are being shipped for storage in the basement of the Smithsonian.
Ben Stiller returns as heroic museum guard Larry Daley in “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”.
Photo credit: Doane Gregory, Fox Pictures