Night at the Museum (2006)
Reviewed on 2008 February 28
My first reaction to this was being completely charmed by it. My second was being jealous I didn’t think of this.
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has never found his way in the business world yet — based on the snippets of conversation with his ex as he picks up their son Nick (Jake Cherry) for a visit, we assume it’s more bad luck than lack of trying. To add salt to the wound, Erica’s new man is a hot-shot something-or-other with a power suit and a cloud of success following him around like an obnoxious Axe spray. This is not what the out-of-work Larry needs.
Larry gets a job as a night guard at a museum, taking over for a crew of retirees (Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cobbs, and an obnoxious Mickey Rooney). Cecil (Van Dyke) seems to be the most helpful of the three, giving Larry a thick instruction manual and telling him to read it. Larry doesn’t read it, thinking the job somewhat beneath him as it is, and soon regrets it when the T-Rex skeleton comes to life and bounds up to him. The exhibits at this museum come to life at night, and because Larry is the only human in there, he knows how insane it will sound if he tries to tell anyone else about it. Soon, dealing with the exhibits — and their squabbles amongst each other — is the least of his worries.
This is another entertaining “everyone” movie. The ending felt a bit rushed and too pat, but it was very well done otherwise, with great special effects. Stiller is a perfect straight man, and Owen Wilson as Jedediah and Steve Coogan as Octavius were especially funny.
Three chocolate morsels.