Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Rated 3.0

Larry the night guard (Ben Stiller) is back in the sequel of 2006’s Night at the Museum, and so are some of the iconic figures who spring to nocturnal life in the first installment—Robin Williams’ gruff and jaunty incarnation of Teddy Roosevelt, Owen Wilson’s laconic cowboy hero and Steve Coogan’s sardonic Octavius Caesar (both in miniature, once again), etc. Apart from Wilson and Coogan, the returnees (including Stiller) come close to wearing out whatever welcome they may have had in advance. Fortunately, the sequel gets a good deal of amusement and charm out of the alternate setting and even more from the new arrivals—the fictional pharaoh Kahmunrha (Hank Azaria), a giddy General Custer (Bill Hader), Ivan the Terrible (Christopher Guest) and, most strikingly of all, a dreamily rediscovered Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams). And the Smithsonian sequences yield a number of momentary rewards—including works of art coming to goofy animated life in the National Art Museum and the sight of Earhart flying the Wright Brothers’ plane out of the Air & Space Museum and over the Capitol Mall. Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG