Sunday, 21 December 2014
REVIEW: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM-SECRET OF THE TOMB
Meet The Artifacts.
98 Minutes. Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Rebel Wilson, Rami Malek, Patrick Gallagher, Dan Stevens & Ben Kingsley. Director: Shawn Levy.
Admit one more time to the fond, fun, festive feeling of another holiday season, Ben Stiller adventure comedy. Because after tonight the 'Night At The Museum' will be closing its doors for good. That's right, Larry the security guy is hanging up his torch. Its been one hell of an animal/artifact house ride for Stiller. When he wasn't busy "focking" around with Robert De Niro's family, the 'Zoolander' and 'Dodgeball' star had another franchise to go along with 'Meet The Parents' while everything else waited for their long awaited sequels. After the first classic, 'Night At The Museum' went to the capital, Washington D.C. for the brilliant 'Battle Of The Smithsonian' sequel, you just knew there'd be a big three. Now to complete the family box-set trilogy, the film and franchise face heads to England's capital, London where it channels the last 'Mummy' film by hopping on a double-decker bus to Egypt, by way of the British Museum. The sacred tablet that brings everything to life is wearing thin, but thankfully this series isn't as Stiller helps bring it and everything to life once again with the fine form over the years that saw 'Tower Heist' and 'The Watch' turn into bigger and better films then critically advertised. A formidable run of form that cumulated in his last fall career crescendo of his 'Forrest Gump' like journey of 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty'. Stiller is the man. There's just something about Ben.
So along comes another sequel and its as still as super as the unnatural behaviours of the 'Natural History Museum's' exhibits that do everything but collect dust after midnight. In the magic hour it all comes to one hell of a big party no matter how small Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan are in role and stature. Stiller's old running mate forms a dynamic duo with Brit Frat Pack, international member Steve Coogan. Bringing Rome and the Wild West together for a showdown and conquest of banter and trademark humour of visual aids. Exhibit B sees old favourites like Rami Malek and Patrick Gallagher return as historical figures in both world and this films past. Now sure, with a more of the same sequel, some people will be turned off by old gags being run again and again but tell that to 'Anchorman' and 'Dumb and Dumber' too. Besides there's some new tricks to go with this sequel welcoming back the theatrics we loved so much from the first two. Kids will love it and parents will be glad to be sharing in the festive fun this Christmas. Packing up the museum and shipping some of the exhibits to London for a short trip and we have some new English traditions to add to Ricky Gervais' second silly but sincere outing. After having a breakout year with 'The Guest' (a film that looked like 'Drive' if it was directed by Michael Bay), Dan Stevens plays a hilarious, Bradley Cooper looking Lancelot and makes this film fools gold with his jests. Even Aussie Rebel Wilson brings a pitch perfect British accent, hilariously stepping in for Jonah Hill's new museum guard. And what American film looking for a little good ole blighty would be complete without Ben Kingsley? Add this to the stunning, enthusiastic special effects and some more after hours surprises from dynamic director Shawn Levy and you have another great museum night to save the day. Even Stiller goes back to his early days and plays another character and the results are man making fire genius.
Still, as we have one last walk around the halls of this hallowed museum we must bid a farewell to one of America's greatest exhibitions. And this is where if you allow us we pay tribute. You just know that even though the doors are closing for sunrise they couldn't do another 'Night At The Museum', because who else could play President Theodore Roosevelt than the late, great Robin Williams? The guy even looked the spitting image of Teddy. And from the first time his mannequin came to screaming and fooling life like Kim Cattrell the fatherly fun and fortune hasn't stopped. From the wordplay to the wisdom, Williams has acted up to the part he played perfectly. Just like he did in all his films from 'Mrs Doubtfire' to 'Patch Adams'. Only a true legend who deserves his place on comedies Hollywood Mount Rushmore could play such an American icon. Here in his final 'Museum' and all too tragically movie outing (visual at least, you can hear his voice one last time in next years 'Dennis The Dog'), Robin spreads his wings and does what he did so brilliantly and beautifully better than the rest. With the museum artifacts threatened to return to what they once where, some wax hands and presidential confusion gives Robin the chance to return to his trademark riffing we loved so much from the man whose resume reads "I do voices" before his name. Forget just comedy, its Hollywood gold like Cary Grant's look, James Dean's swagger or Clark Gable's line from a man that was more than the muses. Fondly but then all too sadly in the end, here you're yet again so engaged to the energy and enthusiasm of a man that never lost that, form or face that you forget that he's still unbelievably no longer with us. You never want his day to end and for him to return back to a statue, only to never scream and shock us again. Still Hollywood should make one for the man that made them. Smile and rest peacefully Robin. Goodnight. TIM DAVID HARVEY.