Sunday, January 28, 2007

Night At The Museum

Year: 2006
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Carla Gugino, Robin Williams

Yeah, been a long time since I wrote anything in here, sorry about that. Anyway, what I've got today is a review on a movie about things coming to life. Kinda like Small Soldiers or Jumanji.

Night At The Museum tells a story about Larry Daley, a divorced father who's out of a job. He desperately needs one to prove he can be a good father to his young son. So at the unemployment office, he gets a job as a security guard at the Museum Of Natural History. And he gets the graveyard shift, which is where the fun begins.

The three retiring guards give him a set of instructions and tell him not to let anything in or out. He's baffled when he hears that. But later on his first night, he gets the shock of his life when he sees the T-Rex skeleton running around the hallways trying to get him to play fetch! Larry also has to deal with everything else that comes to life: a talking Easter Island head, a cowboy and a Roman soldier from the dioramas at war with each other, some neanderthals, Attila The Hun, animals from the African wildlife, a statue of Columbus, civil war soldiers and a wax figure of Teddy Roosevelt.

After barely keeping everything together the first night, he decides to quit, but changes his mind when he realizes how much he needs the job, and how important this is to his son. So he rises up to the challenge to keep order in there every night, with a little help from Teddy Roosevelt. But a threat he didn't anticipate comes into the picture...

Stiller is at his usual self, trying to be the earnest guy who does the right thing. In the past, I had disliked that part of him, because it always seems so impossible for his character to do things without making a fool of himself. This time it's not that much different, but I felt that his character finally is one of those that viewers can get to empathise and relate to. I certainly did, and unlike his character in Meet The Parents, Daley is a smarter person. A little anyway.

Williams does not disappoint as always, playing Teddy Roosevelt with honour and a good sense of fun. The main attraction of course are the museum's inhabitants that come to life. Watching them in action can be quite fun, though some can be downright childish. Owen Wilson makes an uncredited appearance as the cowboy, and he's really not funny here. Ricky Gervais, who plays the museum director is not only unfunny, he's absolutely annoying. I wonder why people actually find him hilarious.

It's a nice film to just sit back and unwind, so enjoy it. And bring the kids too, they'll love it. (3.5/5)


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