Night At the Museum

Night At the Museum

Classic family fare - norm

10 Points

Viewer Rating:norm has rated Night At the Museum rating: 3.5 Star

Larry Daley (Stiller) is a complete loser who can't hold down a job. Unable to handle his son's disappointment at his imminent eviction he takes a job as night watchman in the Museum of Natural History. However; this seemingly easy job turns out to be a wild ride when he finds that an ancient curse causes the "inhabitants" of the museum to come to life every night. Suddenly, Larry finds himself face-to-face with a frisky T. rex skeleton, tiny armies of Romans and cowboys and a mischievous monkey who taunts him to the breaking point. But with the big help of President Teddy Roosevelt (Williams), Larry may just figure out a way to control the chaos and become a hero in his son's eyes. Now I'm not going to start running down what is essentially a children's film. I rented this with my (adult) brother and we both enjoyed it and got a few laughs from it, which is really all this film is trying to do. The idea is good, though scripting does seem a bit formulaic. The cast is a big plus in the film; Ben Stiller is his usual steady self and manages to deliver few funny lines due to various limitations in the script. He is also forced to engage in some slapstick, which contradicts his usually wry, understated sense of humour as seen on Meet the Parents - the monkey scene is not only predictable, but it is probably the worst scene in the movie. Mickey Rooney is saddled with the most poorly-written character in the film, resulting in him spitting out a plethora of lame buzzwords (Butterscotch?!). However, Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan, as the cowboy and Roman general respectively, inject some life into the proceedings, being responsible for most of the amusing parts. Robin Williams, for once, decides not to revert to slapstick, attempting to play his character in a more understated fashion. And you know what? He isn't annoying! In fact, I didn't realise it was him until later. Dick van Dyke, while not particularly funny, uses his oft-likable personality to hold the movie together. Ricky Geravis also plays the stereotypical pedantic, whimsical boss to perfection. It became evident to me that A Night at the Museum is very much a movie of moments. Fortunately, these moments usually came at just the right time; just when my interest in the film was flagging and my eyes were being diverted towards my watch. For instance, I couldn't help but laugh at the Sacajawea tracking scene. To me the most interesting part of the movie, the only part of the plot which displays any real innovation was always going to be watching how Stiller would go about overcoming his problems in the museum and he came up with some entertaining and left-field solutions for doing so! For instance, there was the fire extinguisher which he used on the cavemen - alongside others. I've also seen less amusing endings to family movies - as silly as the disco scene was. It is certainly a passable movie with its fair share of well-timed and enjoyable moments all things considered, this is far less banal and money-grubbing than the more insipid family fare, such as Scooby-Doo or Garfield. Classic family fare (and may even get your children interested in history!)

Review published on the 05 August 2008 00:28

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Starts bad and fizzles downwards..... - meerkat

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Re : watching paint dry! - Ched...

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Brill - Podge O

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Very very bland... - David Mann

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