Night At The Museum (2006)
There is nothing wrong with mindless fun every once in a while. It’s nice to just sit back and enjoy the nonsense, instead of watching intellectual cinema on the other end of spectrum. I prefer the latter, but even though Night At The Museum is not a ‘good’ movie, it sure is entertaining, at least for a while.
Larry (Ben Stiller) is a divorced father of the ten year-old Nick (Jake Cherry). Larry wants to bond with Nick, but he is only allowed to see him so many days a month, and considering the fact he just lost his job and has to move again, things are starting to look grim. He decides things need to change and takes a job as night guard at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. An easy enough job, so it seems, but at nighttime all animals and exhibits come to life. Larry has to find a way of keeping it all under control while having to deal with old bad guys Cecil (Dick Van Dyke), Gus (Mickey Rooney) and Reginald (Bill Cobbs) and his boss Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais).
For me it’s hit or miss with Ben Stiller, although I have to admit it’s more miss than hit. His overtly trying to be funny has the tendency to work on my nerve, but, aside some corny moments, his character is fun in Night At The Museum. It’s hard to become annoyed because of all the mayhem happening on screen: tiny gladiators and cowboys are constantly fighting, a t-rex is constantly running around next to mammoths, zebras, lions and the like, neanderthalers are dangerously playing with fire and much more. As one of the props mentions, the museum is on the edge of total anarchy, but is it really? Almost none of the characters are well developed, Octavius being a kiss ass for instance is mentioned once but just doesn’t work out, while vital character mister pharaoh is a mystery ignored for most of the film. It made me think of the Toy Story movies, where stuff coming to live does work out well.
Despite this though, Night At The Museum definitely has its moments to entertain you. It’s funny and adventurous and even though Shawn Levy (who recently directed The Internship (2013)) isn’t the most innovative director around, he directs with style. Once you let yourself enjoy it, Night At The Museum is a fun movie.