Night at the Museum: 3 Stars (out of 5)
Night at the Museum, like Jumanji, is a one-joke movie. It’s like a big ball of cotton candy; it’s sweet and sugary, but will leave you sticky and hungry for something more. But for those wanting to check their brains at the door (necessary to ignore some enormously large plot holes – the size Megatron could stride through) you may have a nice time at the theater, and there’s the bonus of seeing Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney.
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is a struggling entrepreneur that never seems to get his projects off the ground. To appease his ex-wife (Kim Raver), and not lose time with his son (Jake Cherry), Larry bites down on his pride and tries to find a normal 9-to-5 job.
He moseys on down to the Natural History museum for an interview with the night security crew (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs), and is hired to be their replacement due to downsizing. However his first night is more exciting than he bargained for as the entire museum comes alive at night.
The wax statutes, miniatures, stuffed animals, bone T-Rex, and everything else come to life and tromp all over the museum causing havoc for Larry.
The movie explains this transformation by the arrival of an Egyptian artifact 50 years ago. So everything in the museum has been coming alive for 50 years and no one has noticed. Really? One night on the job leaves traces and almost gets Larry fired; how did the former security guards keep it secret for half a century? And are you telling me in 50 years not one museum worker or administrator has stayed late and observed this happening?
The film stars Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt, who helps Larry keep the museum under control when he’s not pining fro Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck), a nasty little monkey named Dexter, and a pair of miniature warriors (Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan) whose never ending war gets on Larry’s nerves.
The beautiful Carla Gugino also has a small supporting role as a daytime worker at the museum who is working on a dissertation of Sacajawea. (Do all museums have hotties like her? Damn, I knew I should have stayed a history major). I wonder if she and Larry will get together?
The film is exactly what you’ve seen in the trailer. Everything goes crazy with Ben Stiller in the middle of it (they should name this type of genre after him, he’s done it so often). It’s cute and there are some fun moments though the humor and jokes are mostly one note and aren’t that memorable. Still it might entertain the family for a couple hours on a cold winter night.