There is something about super-bloated big budget action comedies which attract me like a Big Brother fan to a copy of Heat. I know I won’t like them, but I sort of kinda have to see them. So Night At The Museum 2 (aka Night At The Museum : Battle Of The Smithsonian) was always going to get my custom, if just to see if the Ben Stiller mugathon will be as inventive as either the original or the average peasant in the dark ages. It just about passes that muster to be fitfully more entertaining than the original without being in any way memorable like its predecessor. Which is possibly just as well because it spends its first ten minutes dispatching much of the previous film.

What is interesting about many sequels is what happens when the original was not set up for a follow-up. Night At The Museum ended with our hero triumphant, having won back his son and with a potential love interest. Well the second one moves him on even further, a successful businessman he is too busy for his “friends” in the museum*. This turns out to be germane to the moral of the film, which is do what is true to you. Which in this case means sod being a successful businessman, go back to being a night guard at a museum! Carla Gugino is off and the kid is dispatched as soon as possible. And what do we get instead? A cartoon lisping evil Pharoah (ancient Egyptians do pretty badly in Hollywood) Amy Adams doing her best Katherine Hepburn in tight jodhpurs.

Which instantly makes this better than the original.

Not much: it still squanders much of its premise for knockabout slapstick. Some of the “come alive” sequences however are very inventive if not funny, especially the art gallery with Jeff Koons puppy bounding around. Rather than considering the type of good having eight small Einstein’s could do, we instead have them singing a KC And The Sunshine Band song. Rather than providing the female lead character with a nice ending she pretty much commits suicide on screen. But then this is a stupid film, what do we expect. Well what we expect is probably a number 3, in the British Museum…

*For friends read mannequins which come to life. But if its good enough for Andrew McCarthy then it mus be good enough for Ben Stiller.