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Overall Rating
3.25

Awesome: 6.82%
Worth A Look: 34.09%
Average38.64%
Pretty Bad: 18.18%
Total Crap: 2.27%

3 reviews, 26 user ratings



Night at the Museum
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by Lybarger

"Not a moldy museum piece."
4 stars

ďNight at the MuseumĒ has a setup thatís so juicy, itís easy to forgive the film when it falls short of its potential.

Ben Stiller stars as Larry Daley, a would-be entrepreneur whose
attempts to earn a living have been so unsuccessful that the only way he can avoid eviction is taking a job as a guard at a struggling museum.

As a cost-cutting measure, Larry finds himself replacing three aging guards (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs) whoíve been patrolling the facility at night for decades.

The job isnít as easy as it appears. The exhibits come to life shortly after the museum closes at night. Larry has to prevent the leader of a wild west exhibit (Owen Wilson) from getting into a skirmish with a Roman exhibit run by Octavius (Steve Coogan). This is especially difficult because both the cowboys and the Romans are only two inches tall.

If the humans werenít bad enough, the museum is loaded with
prehistoric and contemporary wildlife that wreck havoc through the halls including a larcenous monkey who steals Larryís keys and instructions.

Fortunately, Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams) occasionally steps down from his horse to help out. But the former president is as smitten with Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck) the way that Larry is with a museum guide (Carla Gugino).

While the movie offers the special effects department several chances to go overboard (the bone fetching dinosaur is a favorite), the cast does manage to hold their own against the eye candy. Stiller is funnier than heís been in recent outings. Apparently dinosaur skeletons make better costars for him than Jennifer Anniston did.

Van Dyke, Rooney and Cobbs come off well even if we donít get to see much of them, and Wilson and Coogan seem to be having fun getting into petty scrapes.

Screenwriters Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (working from Milan Trencís book) manage to come up with several delightfully bizarre sequences you might miss if you were to blink. Pay close attention to the Italian guy made out of bronze whoís always carry maps.

At times, you almost wish the film was as clever as what Garant and Lennonís TV show ďReno 911!Ē The movie might have been funnier if Larry were a little less dumb (he thinks that Roosevelt is the nationís fourth president).

Itís frankly not that interesting to learn about the aftermath of his
divorce or his futile attempts to impress his son. Letís face it;
talking Easter Island heads are the reason the movie was made.

The movie gives lip service to the wonders of book learning, but it
might have been more educational and perhaps even more entertaining if Larry had to learn about the past with the audience. Imagine him having to deal with language and cultural barriers during his policing.

Nonetheless, the movie does tap into that lingering curiosity about what happens when a museum closes its doors. Chances are itís not quite as fun or chaotic as whatís up on the screen. Note: This review was previously published in the January 4th - January 10th issue of County Cable (countycable.net).

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15303&reviewer=382
originally posted: 01/13/07 11:35:02
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 3 stars
6/14/08 PAUL SHORTT A FUN FILLED, ACTION PACKED, UPLIFTING FILM, ENTERTAINING FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY 3 stars
6/07/08 John M a cute movie, museum dinos & soldiers coming to life 4 stars
10/29/07 Geoff Chapman fun family film, with very cute characters. 4 stars
7/17/07 David Cohen I'm getting a little sick of the "divorced man trying to impress his precocious son" cliche 3 stars
7/03/07 Tanya g I laughed a lot, it was cute 4 stars
6/06/07 tracey chambers kids will love it, adults not so much 3 stars
6/02/07 Hetop Yeah yeah blah blah second rate 2 stars
5/17/07 Abs Midly amusing a few times, but a preety lame plot 1 stars
5/06/07 Total Crap Too childish for me, it could've been better under a PG-13 rating. 2 stars
4/17/07 Ponce de Leon Hey Larry, let me into that museum! It's the happening place. Forget Florida! 5 stars
4/13/07 Joan of Arc Light entertainment. Wish last move I saw before tuning to dust had been a better one. 3 stars
3/08/07 man better than you think 4 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Museum? Maybe the hall-of-fame!!! I love it. 4 stars
2/05/07 William Goss Simple-minded crowdpleaser has great effects, generic story, obvious gags. 3 stars
1/14/07 Rebecca Great for kids around 11 but I had a few laughs 4 stars
1/10/07 Ole Man Bourbon Cute but dumb (obviously). If you liked the trailer, watch it. If not, don't. 3 stars
1/10/07 ES Great, except a bit rushed & the woman seemed to accept the weirdness a little too easily 4 stars
1/09/07 Jeff Anderson Fun for a while, but soulless. Renee April's costumes & Claude Pare's sets are gr8, though! 3 stars
1/06/07 Dark Enchantress Great movie and very funny. I dont know why it got such bad reviews! 5 stars
1/04/07 Gail Adams Loved it! Lots of fun, and much better than Jumanji. 5 stars
12/30/06 Austin Wertman UNDERRATED 4 stars
12/29/06 orpy Fun movie for kids, not too bad, not great 3 stars
12/28/06 Rob H Could have been so much better. Needed a little Harry Potter type darkness. 3 stars
12/25/06 Aaron Smith Loved to watch displays come to life! 4 stars
12/24/06 Jim Good comedy/fantasy idea buried in sentimental claptrap and unnecessary subplots. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Dec-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 24-Apr-2007

UK
  26-Dec-2006

Australia
  26-Dec-2006



[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  Shawn Levy

Written by
  Ben Garant
  Daniel Goldin

Cast
  Ben Stiller
  Carla Gugino
  Robin Williams
  Ricky Gervais
  Dick Van Dyke
  Mickey Rooney



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