Sunday, January 4, 2015

Movie Review: "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" (2014)

Image Source
Movie"Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"
Director: Shawn Levy
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is back again and is now head of Night Activities at the New York Museum of Natural History. The museum is putting on a huge dinner for museum donors to dedicate its newly refurbished planetarium. Larry is in charge of the entertainment, relying on his old standbys to put on the show. Just before showtime, Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) lets Larry know that the magic tablet that brings them to life is corroding, but with the dinner about to start, Larry has to put that on the back burner. At first, everything goes as planned for the entertainment, but as the tablet further corrodes, the living exhibits start to act erratically, even attacking the guests. Larry must fix the tablet, but the only one who may know how is Ahkmenrah's father, Merenkahre (Ben Kingsley), who is at a museum in London. Larry convinces Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais) to send him, the tablet, and Ahkmenrah to England to hopefully get the tablet fixed and save all the exhibits. Of course, a few old favorites stow away to London as well. 

A mix of both rehashed and recycled jokes and storylines and new, fresh faces to the franchise, "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" is the final film of the trilogy and the definition of a 50/50 film. Though it relies heavily on the first two movies in the series for the bulk of its plot, the adventures of Larry Daley, his son Nick and the magic museum exhibits that come to life, get taken across the pond to the British Museum, and this time, we are treated with past cameos and a host of newcomers that really liven up this movie, especially when compared to "Battle of the Smithsonian."  Rebel Wilson plays the guard at the British Museum with her typical overt and hilarious over-confidence and though she is in the movie for a couple of major scenes, she is a bit underutilized. Another underutilized role in this sequel is Ben Kingsley, who seems to be in a lot these days but never has enough to say. And is it just us, or did the entire Ahkmenrah family forget about his brother, who is the focal point of the second installment in this franchise??? Dan Stevens plays Lancelot and offers a mix of bravery at first, and then confusion and stupidity. He does have a fun scene towards the end of the movie that made us laugh out loud. Ben Still returns to walk through the halls of the museum and give deadpan reactions to the goings on of the movie. Ricky Gervais is also back with a more friendly, charming lighthearted part this time around. And of course, Robin Williams gives his final on-screen performance as Teddy Roosevelt. We couldn't help but notice that he looked thinner and a bit more gaunt in the face. The dedication at the end of the movie made us cry. It is such a sad and powerful loss to Hollywood, even if this silly-fest is his last movie. One thing that really bugged our psyches throughout the course of the movie and the rest of the night was that we could have sworn since the initial trailer for this film that Laaa, the caveman looking twin of Ben Stiller's character, was played by Tom Cruise since the two have a long-standing running joke about how they look alike. Apparently, this is not the case, as Laaa is credited to Ben Stiller himself. Is this all part of the joke and it really was Tom Cruise under all those dreadlocks and dirt in an effort to keep the joke going? Or was it Tom Cruise and just he refused to be billed and credited in this movie? Or was it really (and boringly) just Ben Stiller all along? This mystery will rank up there with "is the moon landing real?" in my book. #sarcasm Whoever played Laaa was the best part of this movie, whether it was Cruise or Stiller.

While still for kids, there are a couple of jokes specifically written into this movie for adults, like the one about the lead singer of the Counting Crows and the one about being open to all religious beliefs. It's not a great movie, but parents probably won't hate this sequel as much as they might hate the second one. It's overly silly, and a lot of the old jokes that are rehashed involve the peeing monkey, a very tiny Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan falling down a heating vent so that the movie can show a wide-shot of nothing happening to enforce how small they are, and the same poorly done CGI from the first two installments. It did sort of bomb at the box offices here in America, which says to us that the filmmakers should have quit while they were ahead. How badly the second film did seems to reflect on how poorly this one has done so far. At least the first movie had a lot of magic to it, and now, that magic has been extinguished, just like the volcano of Pompeii from Dexter's urine stream. In the end, this movie doesn't add to or take away from the franchise. We're just glad it's completed.

My Rating: 5.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 47%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

No comments:

Post a Comment