I though the first was good, but the second brought it all to a whole new level! Gets me thinking maybe the third was even better, despite my hazy recollection of it; it might require a re-watch soon...
The plot this time? Larry Daley (that's Ben Stiller) quit the security job gig, along with that commitment thin. He went back to being an inventor, making a name for himself with such genius contraptions as the glow-in-the-dark flashlight and irreplaceable keys (or whatever they were called). Yet something seems to be missing in his life, and when he finds out the museum he worked at is throwing out all old exhibits in a desperate attempt to get in new visitors, he follows the crates - and their by-night-living inhabitants, to their new home in The Smithsonian.
Unfortunately for him (and the exhibits), the new locale is full of other statues and mummies - not all with as noble personalities, and as the tablet wakes everyone to life it becomes a battle not only for the future of the museum, but for survival, and that commitment thing comes back into play again. While Larry's battling the new cast he runs into a helpful general, and then the even more helpful Amelia Earhart, who tags along for the rest of the story.
It's not so much a battle as a search for... something they find, and there's plenty of intrigue and comedy along the way! A little romance, too. I didn't think the second would outshine the first, but it wasn't only more, but felt a lot more conclusive.
Hope Larry stays on the right path from now on... and I guess he did, because I don't remember him quitting the job in the third. Again, a great watch; fun for the whole family. The special effects hold well, too.
And btw, the IMDB description for this movie is totally wrong:
Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institution in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake. It's no mistake, but it's definitely the right thing to bring them back.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle