Night at the Museum (5/10)
by Tony Medley
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), a
hapless divorced father of a son (Jake Cherry), a guy who can’t hold a
job, finally gets one as a night watchman at a museum, replacing
longtime guards Cecil (Dick Van Dyke), Gus (Mickey Rooney), and Reginald
(Bill Cobbs). Seems simple, but after the three guards leave, when the
sun goes down, all the exhibits come to life. Larry has to come to grips
with all the mayhem that’s going on, and keep alive in the process.
There is actually a story
that goes along with all the gags that aren’t very funny and the special
effects, which are quite good. But to tell anything about it would spoil
what little suspense there is in the film, so you’ll just have to go see
the film if you are that interested.
There are some other big
names some as the exhibits, people like Robin Williams as Teddy
Roosevelt, Owen Wilson in an uncredited role as a cowboy, and Brad
Garrett (“Everyone Loves Raymond”) as the voice of the Easter Island
Head. Stiller’s real life mother, Anne Meara, is in the cast, too, as
the employment agent who gets Larry the job at the museum. Williams and
Wilson are keeping their reputation intact of being totally unable to
separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to evaluating scripts.
Both are talented actors, but are burned by the material they choose to
The special effects are
pretty good, especially the bones of the dinosaur that comes to life
every night. But that’s not enough to make a movie that an adult can
enjoy. This was very disappointing, unless you happen to be ten years
old. If you are a parent with a ten year old, however, you should be
aware that the film trivializes some American icons.
This is similar to 2006’s “Click,” in that it is a good idea that pretty
much fails in translation.
December 22, 2006