By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B- (3 stars)
20TH CENTURY FOX
Director Shawn Levy (The Pink Panther, Date Night, Real Steel) and comedian Ben Stiller (Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) return for the third and final installment of the successful family adventure trilogy, Night at the Museum. I remembered back in December 2006 when the first Night at the Museum came out, I was a 7th grader in middle school and really got a kick out of it, the concept was bizarrely clever, the humor was decent, and the casting was absolutely perfect.
Due to the success of the first film, Fox released Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in May 2009, which I honestly forgot about over the past few years, but I liked it okay and certain moments did stick out. The creativity was through the roof, the jokes were a little better, and not to mention Darth Vader from Star Wars and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street made very humorous cameos.
Literally five years have passed since the release of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and now the third and final “Night” was released, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and while some of the charm from the previous two films wore off a bit when I saw the new installment, it still has its charm, humor, and childlike innocence that is sure to delight both kids and adults.
Some time after the events of Battle of the Smithsonian, we find night guard of the Museum of Natural History, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) doing his usual shift at the museum where everything in it magically comes to life, ranging from dinosaurs, animals, and historical figures, all thanks to a magical Egyptian Tablet. Unfortunately he soon realizes the magic of the Tablet is fading and all the exhibits are turning into lifeless wax sculptures for all eternity.
After taking some advice from his old nemesis, Cecil Fredericks (Dick Van Dyke-The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Larry, his son Nick Daley (Skyler Gisondo-Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Four Christmasses, The Amazing Spider-Man), who is now a teenager working into becoming a professional DJ, Teddy Roosevelt (the late Robin Williams-Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting), Egyptian pharaoh, King Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek-Larry Crowne, Battleship, The Master), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher-True Blood, The Final Destination, Endgame), Sacagawea (Mizuo Peck-Law and Order), tiny cowboy figure, Jedediah (Owen Wilson-Midnight in Paris, Cars), tiny Roman soldier figure, Octavius (Steve Coogan-Tropic Thunder, Despicable Me 2), and a Neanderthal who resembles Larry named Laa (also played by Stiller) set off on an adventure to a museum in London to find King Ahkmenrah’s mother and father, the Tablet’s creator, Merenkahre (Ben Kingsley-Gandhi, Iron Man 3, Exodus: Gods and Kings) and his wife, Shepseheret (Anjali Jay-Robin Hood 2006, Supernatural) to figure out how they can recharge the Tablet’s power to save the museum before it’s too late.
Along the way they encounter the dashing Sir. Lancelot (Dan Stevens-Downton Abbey, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Cobbler), who is completely clueless about the fact he’s a wax sculpture and not the real Sir. Lancelot, which escalates comedically throughout the film. It’s actually very similar to when Chris Hemsworth played Thor in the 2011 Marvel movie, Thor.
They also meet a very humorous British security guard named Tilly (Rebel Wilson-Pitch Perfect, Pain & Gain, Bridesmaids) who is a complete airhead and armed with a hammer instead of a gun, silencer, or ninja swords.
Overall, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is a pretty solid finale to an entertaining trilogy. It’s also a very satisfying farewell to the talented Robin Williams, rest in peace old friend, watching him play Teddy Roosevelt again reminded me of pretty much everything I enjoyed about him, he was funny, charming, and had a likeable personality and he will be greatly missed.
Anyway, the concepts are still just as creative as before, the humor, while very childish at times, can be extremely funny. Rebel Wilson and Dan Stevens are the best and funniest performances throughout the movie and every time they’re on screen, I crack a smile and get ready to laugh.
Of course the rest of the cast is funny, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais (The Office UK, Muppets Most Wanted), Owen Wilson, and Steve Coogan all together again in one movie, how can this possibly be taken seriously?
If you’re looking for a satisfying family outing to the movies over the Christmas holiday, definitely give this a shot, I haven’t seen the Annie remake yet, but from what I can tell, Night at the Museum would be a much more amusing choice for a family night.
It’s got everything you want, humor, magic, and excitement, but if you want a big blockbuster over the holiday, I’d say see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.