‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ Review: Worthy Conclusion to Trilogy
There’s no question that the Night at the Museum franchise has been a huge moneymaker for 20th Century Fox, not to mention the media mogul who acquired the studio in 1985, Rupert Murdoch. The first one is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. With major stars like Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, and the the late stars Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams, who would’t want to take their families to see a movie like this? Of course this franchise, like a lot of the movies from director Shawn Levy, have never really been critical favorites, and they can date pretty quickly, but Levy’s movies remain guilty pleasures, especially Big Fat Liar and the first Night at the Museum film. Now the Night franchise comes to a conclusion with Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and families coming out to see it are in for a real treat.
The film focuses on Stiller’s character, Larry Daley, who in the beginning of the movie has a very rough night. The Golden Tablet of Pharaoh Akhmenrah is losing the power it has to make the exhibits at the Museum of Natural History, including small cowboy and spartan figurines (Wilson, Coogan) and a wax sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt (Williams), come to life at night, and it causes the exhibits to cause havoc, ruining a party that was supposed to celebrate the grand opening of that museum. This incident causes the museum to fire Larry’s boss, Dr. McPhee (Gervais), from his duties as its curator. As a result of this, Larry and his rebellious now-teenage son Nicky (Skyler Gisondo) have to go to London to find out what the problem is with the tablet. There are also new characters cast as well, including Ben Kingsley as the Egyptian Pharaoh Merenkahre, Dan Stevens as Sir Lancelot, and Rebel Wilson as the British security guard. The cast was great, but the main message comes from the point of view of Larry. His role in the film shows children what it’s like to be a divorced parent, and how difficult it really is, especially when you have teenagers in your house. It’s pretty deep stuff, but there’s no doubt that the adventure storyline will let still have children and their parents alike enjoy the film nonetheless.
No doubt the film will rake in bundles of cash for Fox and please the family audiences for which it is intended. Here’s hoping if and when another Night at the Museum film is made, it will be a lot more exciting. Overall, it might not be the best family film of all time, but it’s dopey fun like any other film directed by Shawn Levy.