Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

release date: 19 December 2014 (Canada)
run time: 98 mins
rated: PG
considered: Adventure, Comedy, Family
director: Shawn Levy
starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson, Skyler Gisondo, Rami Malek, Patrick Gallagher, Mizuo Peck, Ben Kingsley, Crystal the Monkey, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Hugh Jackman, Alice Eve

movie summary: Archeologists spend the majority of their career looking for something that will change their lives, as well as explain a major part of human history. Deep in the sand dunes of Ancient Egypt the tablet of Ahkmenrah is found. The archeologists decide to take the tablet away despite the warning of the local Egyptians who say “the end will come” if they take it away.

In present day New York City, the tablet is on display at the Museum of Natural History where it brings the exhibits to life every night. Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is the night watchman who has made a lot of friends thanks to the tablet, which has begun to corrode causing the exhibits to act strange. Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and Sacagawea (Mizuo Peck) are slowly turning back to wax, Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) is acting weirder then normal, while Dexter the Capuchin Monkey is no longer listening to anyone and badly misbehaving. Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Octavius (Steve Coogan) are smaller than life creatures who are slowly turning back to the little toy figurine that they were meant to be. Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) meanwhile is turning old at a rapid pace. The ancient tablet is causing problems for the first time in centuries which has everyone puzzled.

Larry tracks down the old security guards who know the true story behind the tablet. He learns that only Ahkmenrah’s parents will have the answers to the problem and that he must get the exhibits from New York to the British Museum without raising any major international questions. Nick Daley (Skyler Gisondo), Larry’s son, tags along for the journey as the gang head over seas and come alive when the sun goes down. In unknown territory they encounter another dinosaur that will chase them until Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) comes to the rescue. Only problem with Lancelot is he thinks he’s rally alive, looking for the Holy Grail, and will return to King Arthur after the quest. Larry and Nick try to explain to him the situation but it only falls on deaf ears. He tags along for the journey across the museum to the Egypt exhibit and for the search of Octavius and Jedediah who go missing.

When they finally reach King Merenkahre (Ben Kingsley) and Shepseheret (Anjali Jay), they find out that the tablet is losing it’s power and can only be recharge by the full moon. Lancelot begins to question Larry’s leadership abilities and when he learns how powerful the tablet is, he steals it. After jumping on a horse, Lancelot leaves the museum forcing Larry, Nick, and the rest of the New York exhibits to run around the streets of London to find him. When he crashes a live production of Camelot, Lancelot finally comes to terms with his mortality, but still refuses to give up the tablet. Time is running out as everyone is turning back to wax and daylight is about to break. Larry must do whatever he can to save the day one last time.


my thoughts: The first Night at the Museum came out way back in 2006. During the summer of 2014 I finally got around to watching it as part of the Top 100 highest grossing movies of all-time. It has since fallen down the charts, but was enjoyable enough to say I didn’t hate it, just don’t plan on watching it again. Secret of the Tomb came out right before Christmas this past year and was one of Robin William’s last roles, so I had to watch Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian two weeks ago to get caught up for the new release. Having never watched the second film before, I really enjoyed Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart but felt the story lacked in so many areas, especially with Hank Azaria as the bad guy. When it was over, I thought it was a fantastic way to end the series with the exhibits coming to life every night for the general public to see how fascinating the museum could be.

Secret of the Tomb was really a pointless movie, in terms of moving the story forward, and ends in a way that ruins everything they accomplished in the previous movie. When the tablet begins to corrode everything falls apart which causes two humans and a bunch of wax figures to travel the world to figure it out. It is a very creative way to give us another angle on the story about exhibits come that come to life every night but was it necessary? Sure it was good to see Larry finally come to terms that his son is growing up and about to graduate high school, but they spend the first half of the movie arguing about the future. I was worried the story was going to focus too much on them, but amazingly it helps bring the whole movie full circle after the tablet fiasco. In a movie that aims to please the family, it has a few positive messages about parenthood and adult responsibilities amongst the craziness.

It is really hard to fit an extremely large cast into one hour and half movie but the writers do a really good job with it. There are many main characters and a lot of fringe ones who get a few lines here and there. Of course Ben Stiller is the leading actor who is in pretty much every scene and is the main problem solver. Robin Williams is always golden in a role where he gets to play someone else and went out in style in one of his final leading roles. I love both Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan’s roles as the miniature characters and think they could star in their own epic adventure movie. Dan Stevens also steals the show with his over zealous and cocky Lancelot character that takes away lines and time from someone like Rami Malek’s Ahkmenrah character. Two characters I didn’t find funny and felt really ruined a few scenes was Rebel Wilson and Ben Stiller’s Neanderthal character Laa. Their romance storyline was way over the top and their dance sequence really did not need to be in the movie. By far my favourite characters are not even suppose to be in the movie, but appear when Lancelot invades the live production of Camelot. Most of you will laugh at their cameo appearances and how they are able to make fun of themselves with a smile on their faces.

I’m happy the franchise is over because the ending will drop people’s ratings and thoughts like it did mine. The lack of positive reviews and box office results means a new one won’t be in the works anytime soon. I’d hate to ever see any of these characters get a movie of their own, but hey stranger things have happened. Ben Stiller walks away for the next adventure of his life to close out the movie and it would be only be fitting if life intimated art. He should stay away from this franchise that has help keep him busy in Hollywood.

my final thoughts: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is a fun and creative way to revisit some of our favourite characters. Kids will laugh and be entertained while adults will marvel as Robin Williams does one last impersonation. The movie has its flaws and doesn’t make a lot of sense but that is the beautiful behind the whole franchise. If you missed it in the theatres, you should at least catch it sometime on Netflix or On Demand. It was not presented in 3D which is refreshing considering everything comes out in 3D today.

my star rating: 5 out 10

imdb: 6.7 out 10 
metascore: 47/100 
rottentomatoes: 47% out 100% 
roger ebert: 2 out 4
richard crouse: 1.5 out 5

3 thoughts on “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

  1. I so want to see this as I’ve loved the other two – first one most though – so I haven’t read your review fully in case of spoilers, but I’ve seen your scores for it and am a bit disappointed. I hate when they drag out films for the sake of it. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy it still x

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