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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Night at the Museum (2006)  

Review: written 2nd September 2007

Passes muster as a kids flick...

It would be pretty easy to lay into a movie like this. It's derivative (more of a sequel to Jumanji than Zathura, in spirit at least), it has stars being woefully underused (Robin Williams in twinkly eye mode instead of acting mode, Ricky Gervais playing the museum director just like his Office manager character) and a script which is painfully obvious at times.

Through necessity, Stiller takes a job as night-watchman at the Museum, as the three older guards are being laid off - the museum is on hard times. However, thanks to an ancient bit of Egyptian mumbo jumbo, the exhibits all come to life at night - threatening to either wreak chaos on the city, or give Stiller his chance to shine and finally impress his son.. wonder which happens..?

But, let's admit it, I laughed at times, and stuck with it to the end. In fact, it actually took a few turns that did surprise me, and strung out a one line concept into a fairly enjoyable kids flick, with enough cameos bursting out of every scene to keep the adults fitfully amused. Effects are all passable to excellent, and Ben Stiller actually does just about enough to carry the movie through. Jake Cherry is a satisfyingly non-annoying child actor as Ben Stiller's son, I laughed at Gervais, and who knew Dick van Dyke and Mickey Rooney were still alive, never mind acting...

It's not an all-time classic, but it will keep the kids amused....





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