This is the third and final installment in the Night at the Museum series, which began in 2006 with the very funny and imaginative NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. I so wanted this film to end on the same note it began; funny, bright, different, but it just falls a little short. This is sad because this is Robin Williams’ last film and also it is the last screen appearance for Mickey Rooney as well.
All the familiar folk are back, Ben Stiller and his crew of wax people who come alive at night at the New York Museum of Natural History because of a special tablet from Ancient Egypt belonging to Ahkmenrah’s father an old Pharaoh. Those who know the first two films will remember how the magic works. Unfortunately the magic and fun from those first two films falls a little flat in this one.
The story opens with a gala being held at the museum and Larry (Stiller) is putting on his show for the guests at the bequest of his boss, Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais). As the evening progresses the ‘animated’ beings begin to get out of control and the gala turns into a disaster. The tablet is slowly being covered with some sort of a green mold. Meanwhile a sub-plot is introduced showing Larry having difficulty with his son Nick (Skyler Gisondo). Nick wants to take a year off after high school graduation and set his own course for a while to figure out what he wants to do with his life.
The NY museum gang learns that the tablet needs to be seen by Ahkmenrah’s father, who is housed in the British Museum. A quick visit to a senior citizen’s home where Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney now live, explains why and before you know it, Larry, his son, Attila the Hun, Teddy Roosevelt, Octavius, and Jedediah are all in London at the British Museum trying to save themselves from never becoming alive again. Larry gets some great advice on parenting from Ahkmenrah’s father played by Ben Kingsley. They meet up with an entertaining Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) and Larry learns how to let go because it is time. There is a very touching and bittersweet scene with Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt, but even Williams isn’t quite as funny or as endearing as he was in the previous two films.
Youngsters will still find Rexy funny and laugh at Dexter when he pees on everyone and slaps Larry from time to time. There isn’t anything really offensive or vulgar in the film. The animated scenes are amazing to watch and time spent with your favorite child won’t be wasted. I just wanted a bit more from the film and was disappointed it wasn’t offered. Just for a moment when the camera closes in on Williams you feel the loss of a genius and there is a loving sentiment to him in the credits.
BIRDMAN with Michael Keaton is getting lots of Oscar buzz and has several Golden Globe and SAG nominations. Keaton does give an amazing performance, but my husband and I found the movie hard to follow and even harder to understand; which may be why it got all those nominations???
The PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR and BIG HERO are still playing and a fun and clever and worth a look.
ANNIE and THE HOBBIT are playing. I hear THE HOBBIT is good, but I like my image of THE HOBBIT from what my mother read to me, so I haven’t seen any of the movies.
Waiting to see UNBROKEN and INTO THE WOODS
Skipping Moses like I did Noah; Hollywood needs to let the Bible be.