Here are just a few of the questions that came to mind as I watched Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian:
Why am I watching this movie?
Why would anyone watch this movie?
Why was the first film -- from whose 2006 loins this sequel sprang -- a hit, when it was virtually laugh-free?
Why, when I was lucky enough to somehow miss the first film, did I feel compelled to watch the DVD prior to seeing this dreadful sequel? (Answer: These are the sacrifices I make for you, the reader.)
Is it a coincidence that, as I watched the first film on DVD, I was suddenly stricken with a bout of food poisoning that caused me to lose my dinner? (TMI?)
Why did the New York Times recently profile director Shawn Levy as if he were some sort of comedy auteur, when he's obviously Hollywood's newest antichrist? As of now, the scariest four words in the English language are officially "A Shawn Levy Film."
If Ben Stiller is such a comic genius, what is he doing in these movies? Answer: the same thing that Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan and newcomers Amy Adams, Hank Azaria and Christopher Guest are doing. They're collecting what one assumes must be a buttload of money -- enough to salve their consciences for committing crimes against human intelligence, comedy and taste.
How can Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant be so funny on Reno 911! and still be responsible for writing this joke-challenged load of horse-droppings?
Since it's a fantasy, I won't even go into the numerous breaks with logic that litter the landscape of this interminable movie. The Wright Brothers' plane flying around inside the Smithsonian? Sure, why not? No pedestrians at night on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to see Abe Lincoln's statue wandering away from the Lincoln Memorial? A little iffier. No traffic on Central Park West in front of the Museum of Natural History at dawn to see an airplane land? No effin' way.
The plot is almost beside the point.
For the rest of this review, click here to reach my website, www.hollywoodandfine.com.
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