Night at the Museum (2006)

Where History Comes To Life

Chaos reigns at the natural history museum when night watchman Larry Daley accidentally stirs up an ancient curse, awakening Attila the Hun, an army of gladiators, a Tyrannosaurus rex and other exhibits.

I'm made of wax, Larry. What are you made of?
Night at the Museum is directed by Shaun Levy and jointly written by Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon who adapt from the book by Milan Trenc. It stars Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan. Plot sees Stiller as a newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History, who discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.
Not really one night at the museum, but three nights, it's a film that's enjoyable enough if expectation is set at the level for standard family action/comedy fare. All the elements for such are within, protagonist with something to prove to his son, magical animals and historical characters coming to life; and of course the general malarkey that comes with such a premise. Trouble is is that the premise is stronger than the execution. Sure it's energetic and Stiller makes for a likable loser-cum-hero type, and the effects will no doubt dazzle the kids, but it comes over as an excuse for the latter. Is it fun? Yes, yes it is, when it's in flow, but it does grow tiresome towards the run in and the pay off is as formulaic as it gets. It garnered enough coin to warrant a sequel, something that firms up the belief that the market for action/adventure/family movies is currently starved of portions.
It's hoped that better directors, and better films, are forthcoming in this genre, so as to show the latest generation of fun seekers that efforts such as this are not high points. 6/10

1492 Pictures, 21 Laps Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Ingenious Media by Shawn Levy, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Milan Trenc.
Stars: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Ricky Gervais, Dick Van Dyke.

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Keywords: museum skeleton night shift chaos genghis khan maya civilization natural history theodore roosevelt dinosaur based on children's book magical object security guard duringcreditsstinger inanimate objects coming to life

12/21/2006

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