Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Those that have jobs at night can vouch when they claim that the evening takes a different life of it’s own. Humans are not meant to live in the late hours, so it’s fun to get a different perspective on things. Light shines brighter in the darkness, our senses seem different and even the emotions that run through us feel a bit…rebellious. They’ve made several movies about the night and what we don’t know about, including probably the most well known (or at least marketed), Night at the Museum.
This family friendly franchise tends to get a mixed reaction; some people love it and some hate it. I actually like the series. Not because of the writing or the performances, but this is just a fantasy that I’ve had since I was a kid. What child would not think about museums being better then they actually are if the historical figures they came across came to life. The first and second films were big hits for Fox and you would think they would have been quick to get a sequel out, but there was a surprising five year gap. That only sets my expectations a bit more for the third and final movie, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Museum guard Larry Daley (played by Ben Stiller) has continued to keep his job that allows him to see his historical friends including Theodore Roosevelt (played by Robin Williams), Attila the Hun, Sacagawea, Rexy the T-Rex skeleton and two mini figurines, a cowboy Jedediah (played by Owen Wilson) and a roman Octavius (played by Steve Coogan). The magic that has allowed them to come alive at night comes from a gold tablet that is shown in the beginning of the movie how it was came across.
During a museum gala, the exhibits that have come to life to, suddenly act up, causing the partygoers to flee. Larry discovers that the tablets power is running out and needs to figure this out. He’s told by the previous night guard Cecil Fredericks (played by Dick Van Dyke) that the museum in London will have the answers. So Larry and some of the exhibits come along to see if they can restore the magic before the corrosion takes hold. On top of it, Larry’s son Nicky reveals he wants to take a year off before he goes to college, so he too accompanies his father to save the museum.
For those that have seen the previous Night at the Museum’s will know the kind of movie their going to get; something that’s entertaining, but harmless. So those that did not like the last ones are not going to like this one either. It’s the same kind of family friendly humor with maybe one or two adult jokes. In fact, much of the familiar characters are doing the same thing. Theodore is spewing motivational speeches, Jedediah and Octavius are the comic relief and Larry Daley is the straight man to play off everyone. Not that nay of this is bad, but it can get repetitive.
The biggest difference here is that while the second movie was filled with celebrity cameos and tried to go bigger, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is a smaller, more blunt story that knows that it’s last ride needed to be simple. As far as it was, I enjoyed it. Without giving anything away, the movie actually closes on a note where it makes it clear that there are not going to be anymore of these movies. I was surprised by how touching it all was without going too far with the goodbyes.
I’ll give this four T-Rex skeletons out of five. While I had fun watching this history lesson, I say that it’s time to close the museum for renovations!