Australian Council on Children and the Media

Night at the Museum 2

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 due to violence and scary scenes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Night at the Museum 2
  • a review of Night at the Museum 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 May 2009.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Night at the Museum 2
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild violence and some scary scenes
Length 105 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In Night at the Museum 2 Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has left behind his job as night guard at the Museum of Natural History to build a successful career inventing and marketing products such as the glow in the dark flashlight.  When he visits the Museum of Natural History to see his historical friends, Larry finds them packed and ready to be shipped off to deep storage in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.  Despite his son’s pleas, Larry bids his historical friends farewell and turns his back on their fate. 
It is not long before Larry receives a distress call from his little cowboy mate, Jed (Owen Wilson) begging him to come to Washington to save his friends from the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Kahmumrah (Hank Azaria) and his evil buddies.  What unfolds is an adventure- filled battle between some of history’s greats and not-so-greats as Larry and his sidekick Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) fight to get their friends back.   Parents and children alike will enjoy the comedy and the historical references as the biggest museum in the world comes to life.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

None of concern

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Frequent slapstick violence includes:

  • a large octopus chases Larry and the Egyptian warriors, threatening to eat them
  • Larry and Amelia are chased by warriors armed with spears
  • Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon and Al Capone are the team of baddies and are armed  with appropriate weapons (machine guns, rifles, wooden weapons, swords, knives)
  • Jed is put in an hourglass and turned upside down and almost drowns in the sand
  • one of the small soldier characters is chased by a squirrel that is triple his size
  • Kanunrah states that he is ‘Kanunrah the blood-thirsty and I will kill you”
  • Ancient Egyptian bird creatures are awakened and threaten to eat people
  • a fight scene at the end with everyone involved which includes punching, kicking, and fighting using hands, knives, spears etc. 
  • Kununrah is thrown through an Egyptian portal
  • a dinosaur display comes to life and roars scarily at a group of teenage boys
  • in a scene where Larry and two monkeys slap one another, Larry is seen to hit the monkeys across their faces quite hard

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  •  Children in this age group are likely to be scared by many of the threatening monsters and bad characters in the film, especially the giant octopus, dinosaurs and scenes of the Egyptian underworld

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Microsoft
  • Everlast
  • Petco
  • Apple
  • Sesame Street and Star Wars characters

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • flirtatious language including “are you looking at my chassis”
  • reference to Larry getting to second base with Amelia

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • flirting between Larry and Amelia- most of it initiated by Amelia
  • four scenes where kissing is displayed (3 with Amelia and 1 with a nurse). Some kissing scenes are quite passionate

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • stupid
  • fanny
  • oh my god
  • shut up
  • damn

In a nutshell

Night at the Museum 2 is a comedy with many historical references.  The main message of the film is encouraging people to “do what you love, with people that you love”.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • standing up for your friends
  • choosing happiness over success


This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • success and its sacrifices
  • the historical people and events that are referred to in the movie- i.e. Amelia Earhart, Egyptian history, Abraham Lincoln
  • violence and weaponry and their consequences throughout history

 

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