22 May 2009

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Directed by: Shawn Levy
Written by: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant
Full credits from IMDb

[Night at the Museum II] subverts the values our country inherited from the Puritans — namely, the virtue of hard work. The American Dream — upward mobility through ingenuity and perseverance — is based on adults working hard, but [this movie] vilifies that attitude, arguing instead that we should all be children hard at play. The recent Apatow comedies have featured immature schlubs who learn to grow up, or, at least, to strike a compromise between their childishness and the inevitable responsibility of adulthood. But this movie encourages the grown up to grow down.

The movie opens with Larry's museum friends — his toys — being packed away in crates; like the cowgirl doll left to molder in a shoebox in Toy Story 2, it wistfully signals the end of childhood. The rest of the film isn't about learning to cope with that, though; it's about his fight to reclaim his spirit of adventure and his capability to enjoy life: to recapture his childhood innocence by shedding his corrupted maturity. Freeing his crate-imprisoned friends becomes freeing his inner self.

Keep reading my discussion with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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