Movie Reviews

Review: 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb'

By Travis WongMovies - 25 December 2014 12:00 AM

Review: 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb'

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Our Rating

3/5 Stars

Despite not getting much critical acclaim, the ‘Night at the Museum’ movies have been solid performers at the box-office, and they have seemingly managed to encourage visitors to visit museums.

On the other hand, the movies have also led to visitors expecting more than lifeless displays and text on panels, after seeing dinosaur bones come to life and wax figures exchange wisecracks on screen.

Whatever the case, this appears to be the last ‘Night at the Museum’ movie, and while far from perfect, does come together at the end with a fine, and painful, farewell.

Ben Stiller returns as Larry, the night watchman turned visual effects supervisor at the American Museum of Natural History.

During the opening of the Hayden Planetarium, the museum’s newest extension, things go haywire as the supposed “animatronics” go berserk and turn the gala dinner into a disaster.

Apparently, the Tablet of Akmenrah, the ancient Egyptian relic resembling an oversized ATM keypad that is responsible for bringing exhibits to life, is starting to corrode. 

Larry has to go to the British Museum in London to consult with Akmenrah’s parents, Merenkahre (Ben Kingsley) and Shepseheret (Anjali Jay), to find a fix.

Joining Larry’s quest are the usual assortment of characters from the series, such as the tiny cowboy Jebadiah (Owen Wilson) and Roman general Octavius (Steve Coogan), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) and Teddy Roosevelt (the late Robin Williams).


Mizuo Peck, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Rami Malek and Patrick Gallagher in 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' | Photo: 20th Century Fox 

Also tagging along is Larry’s son Nick (Skyler Gisondo) and Dex, the Capuchin monkey, who seems to have as much screen time as Stiller. A great portion of that screen time has the monkey urinating on things, just so you’re warned.

The party has to conquer various challenges as it makes its way to the Egyptian wing. There’s Tilly, the troublesome security guard played by comedienne Rebel Wilson, and Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens from TV’s ‘Downton Abbey’), one of the many characters at the British Museum brought to life by the tablet.

Other segments run almost similar to ones in the earlier movies, such as a Triceratops skeleton reviving and running around, even though the British Museum doesn’t have dinosaur fossils; they’re over at the Natural History Museum.


Dan Stevens and Ben Stiller | Photo: 20th Century Fox

The film moves the group from exhibit to exhibit, trying to extract some drama or comedy out of each scene, but director Shawn Levy just rehashes old gags.

Stiller seems lethargic throughout the show, though what makes the movie stand out is Williams in one of his last performances.

It’s not the late actor’s best performance, but there is a moving scene between Roosevelt and Larry at the movie’s conclusion that helps give it much needed life.

The movie ends on a rather downbeat note, while bringing across the message that sometimes, behind the razzle-dazzle, the allure of the museum exhibits is enough.

Stiller and director Levy, along with producer Chris Columbus, appear to have arrived at the conclusion that it is time to put this franchise into storage.   

‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ opens 25 December 2014

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Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb
  • Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb

  • Rated
    PG /
    Adventure, Comedy, Family
  • Language
  • (8 Reviews)