Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Review

Preface

  • The first Night at the Museum came out in 2006, when I was a kid and I really loved that movie.
    • Looking back on it now, it was a fun time with a really solid story and some good laughs.
  • Then I saw the second when it came out in 2009. And I didn’t like it as much as the first because the first was so new and defining!
    • Looking back now, yeah the script wasn’t as solid and it felt like kind of a cash-grab sequel.
    • Still a fun time, though maybe not a fresh review…
  • And I saw Secret of the Tomb tonight (finally) with some of my friends and all I wanted was some fun, childish humor and a couple good performances, and that would be enough to keep me entertained.
    • Man, I was wrong!!
      • As usual!
    • This wasn’t Pixar or Disney level film, but it was really solid, and super enjoyable!

Cast and Characters

  • I’ve always been a big fan of history, and in the past few years that’s been amplified as I learn more and more historical figures.
  • But before we get into the oldies, let’s talk about the straight men in this movie.
    • Enter Ben Stiller and his son.
  • Since the start I’ve liked Ben Stiller in this role as Larry Daley.
    • You feel bad for this guy who’s just kinda down-on-his-luck but in a relatable way.
    • Yeah, this isn’t Marky Mark from Transformers 4 where you’re supposed to relate to him but you don’t. You really like Stiller in all these movies!
  • Larry’s son in the movie is one of the few complaints I have with the movie.
    • You get what the script is going for, where the son is supposed to be kinda rebellious and prove “he’s on his own path” but the actor felt a little too rebellious and jerkish at some points.
      • If they had Logan Lerman or Vincent Martella in the role you could really see it being a standout, but hey you don’t need to be great in Night at the Museum 3, right?
    • Wrong! The kid was the only one in this movie who felt phoned-in!
    • Ricky Gervais was in the movie for a couple scenes and (you know this guy’s funny, but he’s pretty limited in the first two) you see scenes where he’s just totally losing it!
      • Not as entertaining as Ice Cube in 22 Jump Street, but think a British PG version of that.
    • There’s this caveman character also played by Ben Stiller who was, again, one of the few parts that didn’t work in the movie.
      • If you take him out, the movie’s a little shorter, but ultimately it goes up a couple of notches!
    • And you knew Rebel Wilson was gonna be in the movie from when you saw her in the trailer, but the big question was how big a role would she have?
      • And the answer is not a huge one.
      • She’s in a few scenes, and I think that was perfect.
      • She never had the chance to annoy me like she has in a couple films before, plus she makes every minute of screen time memorable.
    • There’s this one celebrity cameo at a point in this movie, and OH! My God!
      • I don’t know about my entire life, but this is definitely my favorite celebrity cameo in a movie of 2014/15 (since this was a ’14 release).
      • It was ABSURDLY great and SOOOO hilarious!
      • That celebrity just killed it and I was in pain laughing at one of his moments on screen.
    • And Robin Williams was also in this movie too.
      • Very minor spoiler.
      • It’s not totally a spoiler, so don’t worry about it.
      • At the end of this movie, Robin Williams character is saying goodbye to Ben Stiller’s character, and it’s really, really sad.
      • You feel like you’re saying good-bye to Robin Williams, for a reason that I’ll talk about more in my Spoiler-Filled Thoughts of this movie.
      • At the end, you’re really sad already (that’ll be in the next sub-topic) and this straight-up made you want to cry.
      • Also, feel free to check out my reviews of Good Will Hunting and Dead Poet’s Society, both of which are dedicated to the memory of Robin Williams.

Script/Story

  • So yeah, this entire story wasn’t the most solid or fluent in script.
    • Like the first Night at the Museum, you could tell exactly where the story starts, exactly where it needs to be in the middle, and exactly where it needs to end.
    • This was definitely more of two lesser-prominent stories developing into one kinda more important story.
      • But not in a unique, Hobbit-esque way.
      • But also not in a crappy, episodic way.
    • And that is something that I’d knock the film on, but since it is a kid’s movie, it isn’t as bad.
  • But this script delivers on the humor!
    • I was expecting a lot of dumb or stupid humor going in.
      • SIDE NOTE: there is a difference.
        • Stupid humor is a series of funny events that you can turn off your brain, watch and enjoy for not making sense or just being absurd and bizarre in the best possible way.
        • Dumb humor is series of unfunny events that assume your brain is dead, and you laugh because the people on screen have legit no brain cells.
      • As you can tell, I prefer the stupid humor, which this movie had plenty of.
    • Luckily we won with the stupid humor, but there were also some pretty funny adult humor moments that hit and were still funny without being too obvious or going too far.
    • Fact is, I laughed a lot in Secret of the Tomb and that’s really great when a movie can make me do that.
  • Not only that, but this movie–I’m gonna say this, and you guys will know how much of a cheesy person I actually am.
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb? It’s a really touching movie.
    • Not just for kids either!
    • The last 20 minutes of this movie hit and I don’t care who you are, you’re gonna have tears coming to your eyes in more than a few parts.
    • I don’t know about you guys, but I was closer to tears in this movie than I was in The Fault in Our Stars.
      • Both were sad, there were just 3 sad scenes in this, where I was really sad in only 1 in TFIOS.
    • Seriously, this was like straight out of Toy Story 3 or something, cuz it was sad!
  • And you could argue that the movie could have/should have ended 5 minutes before it did, and I get what you’re saying.
    • But I think it led to something different that concluded the franchise on a slightly happier, yet still touching note.
    • I’ll talk more about this in my Spoiler-Filled review, but my friend thought the whole movie was great except for the end, and… Like I said, I’ll get a spoiler-review up soon!

Growing Up

  • That’s the theme of this movie.
  • Out of the very few PG live action kids’ movies that exist, very few of them have themes.
    • Most are just cash-grabs or dumb.
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb was more touching than most of those and, in my opinion the best of the Night at the Museum trilogy, because it had this theme that the adults got to see.
  • No one wants to grow up.
    • That’s something my friends and I are realizing now.
    • We aren’t grown up!
      • We’re seeing fricken’ Night at the Museum 3 on a Friday night, so we’re kids at heart!
    • And that “kids at heart” theme was evident throughout this entire movie, not only with Larry’s son, but Larry and all the characters.
    • Do you stay with the familiarity and comfort of the past, or move on to an equally bright future?
    • This entire movie really delves into that in ways that kids in the theater won’t understand as much of.
    • You’ll hear more about this, the end, and Robin Williams in my Spoiler-Filled post, which I’ll get out in a couple days.
    • But this really did tackle the growing up concept so well, and possibly even better than a lot of coming-of-age movies I’ve seen recently.

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion, I didn’t have high expectations for Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
  • But I was really surprised by how well the actors were in the movie, only one phone-in.
    • Only one annoying character.
    • And a FANTASTIC celebrity cameo.
      • Don’t look it up or you’ll ruin how great it is!!!
    • The script wasn’t completely together, but the jokes all served the film really well and it was one of the most touching movies to be released in 2014.
    • This is by far my favorite of the Night at the Museum Trilogy for those reasons, along with how much bigger-in-scale/grander it felt.
    • I was debating whether it got a 4, 3.5, or somewhere in the middle.
    • But I really enjoyed this film A LOT (cuz we’re all still kids at heart), and I can’t wait to see it again before it leaves theaters.

4/5

  • And I love the Old Man Clan from the first movie that returns.
  • That and the reference to the checklist of stuff from Larry’s first night.
    • I was hoping they’d show that.
  • Ahh, my childhood flashes before my eyes…

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb! What are your thoughts, yeah they won’t all be the same! Did this movie hit enough stupid humor for you, or did it feel dumb? And which do you prefer! Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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