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Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson

While I try not to give away important plot details, please note that I do discuss the film below. I will never give away any endings or big secrets, but remember that I will discuss the story and how I feel about it.

This made a cute New Year’s Day movie outing. I actually like this movie series quite a bit. It is a family movie, but it combines fantasy with history (OK, sort of history). In any event, this is one of the last films with Robin Williams, and it was Mickey Rooney’s last film ever. At the end of the movie, it states it is dedicated to them both.

I’m not sure if this is the last movie in the series or not. If it is, it’s a nice finish. If it isn’t, hopefully they have a good storyline. The idea of museum objects coming to life at night seems like it could only be done so many times. I did like this one, though.

While in the first two movies, it’s kind of just accepted that the tablet turns the museum exhibits to life at night, the third actually makes an attempt to figure out why. The beginning of the movie introduces us to the excavation of Akhmenrah’s tomb and warnings that the end will come if it is disturbed. Flashing forward to the future, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is preparing for a party being held at the museum when Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) shows him his tablet which seems to be corroding. After a night of mishaps when the museum characters begin to behave in strange ways, Larry realizes he can’t ignore the problem with the tablet and decides to travel to London to see Ahkmenrah’s parents who will know more about the tablet than Ahkmenrah himself. Larry also drags along his son, Nick, adding a sub-plot about how Nick wants to dj for a year before deciding whether or not he wants to go to college.

In London, Larry finds Ahkmenrah has brought some of the other museum characters with him from New York including La, a Neanderthal who looks uncannily like Larry. The group sets out on their quest to find Ahkmenrah’s parents somewhere in the giant museum, meeting the exhibits that are coming to life for the first time. In the process, they are joined by Lancelot (Dan Stevens) who is on a quest to find the Holy Grail. Oh, and he thinks he’s actually Lancelot.

I appreciated that the third installment actually asks questions about why the tablet does what it does, even if it took a catastrophe for it to happen.

Many characters are introduced or return from prior films. One of the most obvious is Tilly, the security guard. I’m not really a fan of Rebel Wilson. I just feel like she plays the same awkward bumbling character over and over again. As a result, I didn’t really find her bits funny, just kind of annoying. However, we do get appearances from Hugh Jackman and Alice Eve as themselves when Lancelot crashes a production of Camelot. We also see Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke, and Bill Cobbs reprise their roles from the first movie; it’s also explained what happened to the three old security guards after they tried to steal from the museum in the first movie. I thought this was a nice touch.

While I liked the movie, I did have to pause at Rebel Wilson’s character. She just seemed like she was doing what she always does, and even then, it was still just a copy of Jonah Hill’s security guard in the second movie. I also felt like the plot with Larry’s son could have been a little more …developed? I’m not quite sure what to be honest.

All in all, this makes for a good family movie, and the English major in me loved the Lancelot story. Again, if this is the last movie in this series, it was a good way to end it.
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