As the film lumbers along, each scene gets more and more absurd from three cupids voiced by the Jonas Brothers, to a monkey-slapping scene involving two monkeys and Ben Stiller that lasts way too long for anyone’s good, including children.
There are some glimmers of hope, some oases of cleverness in a desert of unfunny, such as when Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch try and join the evil side, or Christopher Guest as Ivan the Terrible. Ricky Gervais as the museum curator is amusing and understated comedy, and even Jonah Hill has a funny scene with Stiller. But, in the end the movie tries to show too much too fast. It’s overwhelming, just like that first step into anyone of the Smithsonian museums. So much to see, not enough time to devote to it all. Instead of focusing on the interesting storylines and characters, the film tries to focus on a little bit of everything until our minds are so saturated with different characters it’s hard to care anymore.