Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb

In Theatres: 
Dec 19, 2014
Running Time: 
98 minutes

The Night at the Museum franchise has had its ups and downs over the years, balancing comedy with semi-educational history lessons, but there’s always been a certain charm associated with the films. Coming off a five year hiatus, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb brings the trilogy to a close with a trip to the British Museum of Natural History in London to explore the secret behind the tablet that has been bringing the exhibits to life every night. Unfortunately, the film is about as lively as the wax figures during the daytime.

Larry (Ben Stiller) is working as a security guard at the Museum of Natural History in New York City and is organizing a huge event for the investors with all the museum exhibits playing a part to wow the audiences when something goes wrong and they all act like they would in their natural environments. As it turns out, the magic tablet that has been bringing them to life all these nights is mysteriously rusting. In order to figure out how to reverse the rust on the tablet, Larry and a few of his fellow exhibit friends travel to London to visit Ahkmenrah’s (Rami Malek) father, Merenkahre (Ben Kingsley), who created the tablet and its power.

Secret of the Tomb is much of the same shenanigans only in a different, and more British, location. Franchise favorites including Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Steve Coogan), and Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) return, and a few new historical figures join the roster like Sir Lancelot of Camelot (Dan Stevens). Still, even with the new additions, the film comes off rather stale.

The majority of humor is your typical childish slapstick comedy. Whereas Battle of the Smithsonian at least had some more sophisticated adult references and gags, Secret of the Tomb relies mostly on its usual bag of tricks consisting of Larry getting slapped by Dexter, the Capuchin monkey. This time around he even ends up peeing all over Jedediah and Octavius in one scene; a new low for the franchise.

In some ways, Secret of the Tomb is a final goodbye to the franchise. Larry learns that you can’t always hold on to everything forever and sometimes you just have to let people go, both in referencing his exhibit friends and his son, who is pushing to party it up in Ibiza as a DJ instead of going to school. It’s all very heavy-handed in saying, “Hey, this is going to be the last film. Better say goodbye.” And yet they still leave things open for Rebel Wilson to take over the franchise as Tily, the after hours security guard at British Museum of Natural History.

There’s nothing new in Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb that we haven’t already seen before. Children may get a quick laugh or two out of it, but most people will simply be bored as it goes through the motions one last time. Rather than going out with a bang, the film quietly fades away into the night.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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