Night at the Museum: The Secret of the Tomb – Movie Review
Night at the Museum: The Secret of the Tomb – PG
Release Date: Fri 19 Dec 2014
The third, seemingly concluding chapter in the Night at the Museum franchise sees the gang from the New York Natural History Museum working to fix the mysteriously deteriorating tablet of Ahkmenrah before its destruction results in the exhibits ceasing to come to life each night. To do this, they must travel to the British Museum in London to meet Ahkmenrah’s father (Ben Kingsley) who knows the secret of the tablet. Only by taking the tablet there and awakening the British Museum’s exhibits can the hope to speak to him before it is too late.
Ben Stiller returns as Larry who is additionally dealing with his son Nick (Skyler Gisondo) being unwilling to commit to starting college immediately after high school. This gives the movie an overall theme of Larry letting go of responsibility for both his son’s life and his friends. The movie smartly brings along the familiar gang to London rather than have an entirely new cast of exhibits for Larry to explain things too. Apart from the pharaoh father, there is also Lancelot who becomes the main antagonist after not understanding that he is a museum exhibit instead of a real knight and Rebel Wilson makes a couple of brief appearances as Larry’s counterpart as the night guard at the British museum.
There’s plenty of fun effects and adventure, but the story with Lancelot quickly becomes tired before finally coming to a very clean and satisfying conclusion. The movie then makes an odd move of jumping ahead three years and nullifying that conclusion – for a short while – for the sake of a happier ending note and dancing credit sequence. While it certainly didn’t need to exist, it was good to see the movie actively trying to wrap up the overall story rather than just leave room for another sequel. If that holds and we don’t get a fourth installment this will be a rare case of a successful franchise getting out at the right moment.
Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: