Night at the Museum - Secret of the
I'm not sure the world
has been waiting with baited breath for another Night at the Museum
film, particularly since the last one is over five years old and pretty much
forgotten, though it was a big hit at the time.
But here we are, staring
down the barrel of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,
and the only real notable thing about this third film in the series is that
two of the stars (Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney) have died since their
roles were filmed. Rooney has a glorified cameo here, but Williams once
again has a quite substantial supporting role as Teddy Roosevelt.
Whether it is fair to the
movie or not, since this is the first film we have seen Williams in since he
committed suicide a few months ago, his presence gives Secret of the Tomb
a real sense of melancholy that overwhelms much of the movie's very
lightweight pleasures. No amount of silly sight gags and dumb historical
humor can undo the sense of unfairness at Williams' much too sudden death.
It would be a difficult
conundrum for even the strongest film to overcome. And let's face it, the
Night at the Museum films are not exactly known for their stellar
filmmaking, though in fairness the first film was rather amusing.
However, Night at the
Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was just a lazy repeat of the first
movie, with a new city (from New York to Washington DC) and bigger – if not
necessarily better – special effects and comic stunts. Secret of the
Tomb also falls into this groove, again moving most of the action (this
time to London) but not adding all that much as far as humor or excitement.
Which is not to say that
Secret of the Tomb is a horrible film, though it is not very good.
In fact, of the three Night at the Museum films it is undoubtedly the
most lifeless. And it is the most unnecessary. However, some of the jokes
hit their mark here, and British actor Dan Stevens (The Guest) gives
the series a little jolt of life every time his Sir Lancelot is onscreen.
Secret of the
Tomb is supposed to be the finale of a trilogy,
though it appears that the story passes the baton from Ben Stiller to new
recruit Rebel Wilson in case they decide to do a reboot. However, Wilson's
eccentric humor feels wasted here, an odd fit for the series. Hopefully if
Secret of the Tomb does poorly enough director Shawn Levy will see
the hieroglyphics on the wall and allow the Night at the Museum
franchise to rest undisturbed in some deep cavern until some unlucky
archeologist stumbles upon it in a few thousand years.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2015 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: March 10, 2015.