Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Review: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb

World of Blackout Film Review

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Poster

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb
Cert: PG / 98 mins / Dir. Shawn Levy
WoB Rating: 4/7

Shawn Levy 's trilogy-closer certainly seems to have had the requisite number of stops pulled out when it comes to the visual effects, and it's never less than watchable. Frequently amusing, with a couple of guffaws (Dan Stevens is particularly good as Sir Lancelot), the combination of action and slapstick ticks the boxes on the list of what you'd want from a family adventure movie. It's just a shame that Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb feels like it's got nothing to say...

Not that I expect the third entry in a Ben Stiller-fuelled PG-adventure franchise to reveal new depths to the human soul or finally perfect the scientific formula for guaranteed comedy, but at times there's almost an air of contractual obligation as the returning characters rehash their previous performances, and the few new ones offer nothing that you weren't imagining anyway.

I know that I'm expecting too much, but I have quite fond memories of the first two films, and I'd just hoped for something a little more satisfying from a screenplay which has all the hallmarks of a final chapter with a wind-down to beginning rival Peter Jackson's Return Of The King at one point. For all the misty-eyed farewells the film has to offer, it's Robin Williams' scenes which hold the most weight here, from a purely retrospective view of course. NatM isn't Williams' greatest work of course, but then it doesn't have to be; it's just a nice cinematic hug goodbye.

While it brings little new to the table, Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb is amiable enough entertainment for the holiday season, but it struggles to compete with its own previous iterations, never mind the current fare at the box office...

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Close enough.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Sort of snorted and giggled, but that's not really enough, is it?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
If that is "extend/complete the franchise" then not really, if I'm being honest.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
That all depends on how much you want to see this movie, really.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Probably not.

Will I watch it again?
…probably not.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There isn't.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
Why are the museum-characters that are introduced in this film so inconsistently self-aware? Not realising they're waxworks one minute, complaining about families gawping at them during the day the next. Were the previous films as bad as this? (I don't remember, and I'm not going to go back and watch them right now to find out)

Oh, and another thing (SPOILERS): When the magic-tablet is revealed by Ahkmenrah's father to be a device he had made so that his family could stay together in this world after death, surely that'd mean they'd each be hanging around in various advancing states of decay before eventually being sentient dust? Can we have even just a little logical consistency in a fantasy environment, please?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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