Friday, April 29, 2016

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Year 8, Day 120 - 4/29/16 - Movie #2,320

BEFORE: I've had a pretty good run in the last week, not too many new films on cable, so I've stuck to my "Watch two, add one" schedule, and the watchlist is down to 135 films.  If I can get it down to 130, that will be equal to the lowest point it's ever been, and then I can finally start to make some progress for the year. But the new month might bring a whole new crop of films, so I could hit 130 and that might be a plateau for a while, you never know.  Still, 180 slots left in 2016, and 135 films on the list, I'm still feeling optimistic about finishing. 

Ben Kingsley carries over from "Exodus: Gods and Kings", last night he was fighting an Egyptian pharoah, and tonight he's playing one.  A living wax figure of one, anyway.

FOLLOW-UP TO: "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (Movie #1,065)

THE PLOTLarry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.

AFTER: OK, I admit it, I was wrong - I just read my review of the previous film in this series, and I predicted that the next chapter would be set at the Louvre in Paris.  I guess that would have been too high-concept or arty or inaccessible to kids.  But I don't know much about what collections are stored at the British Museum, at least with the Smithsonian I had a little clearer idea about what to expect.  Screw it, nobody in the U.S. probably knows what's in the British Museum, so the writers probably had the opportunity here to do whatever they wanted.  

The concept is that the magic tablet that allows the wax figures, dinosaur skeletons and statues to come to life (even though some were never alive to begin with) is deteriorating, causing a disturbance at a fund-raising event, and the only "people" who might know how to fix it are the Egyptian boy pharaoh's parents, who are at the British Museum.  I know, wax figures don't usually have children or form family bonds, but try not to think too much about that.  So Larry the security guard finally lets his boss in on the secret about how the museum comes to life at night, in order to arrange a trip to London.  And nearly all of the main characters tag along for the ride - so, nobody noticed 6 extra life-size figures inside the crate?  That seems a bit unlikely.  

So Teddy Roosevelt, Sacajawea, Attila the Hun, Dexter the monkey, the tiny cowboy and the tiny Roman centurion, plus a caveman, run around a slightly different museum, chasing Lancelot and being chased by another dinosaur skeleton - it certainly feels like a retread, there's not much new ground broken here.  When there are no more problems to solve and no more plot twists, and even the characters themselves are tired of being alive - it's true, they're practically begging to die by the end - then you know that a film franchise has probably run its course.  Hey, they had some fun, and I guess they got a lot of kids interested in museums again - though those kids probably wonder why the movie's exhibits are so much more exciting.  

I've got a similar NITPICK POINT to the one I had for "Battle of the Smithsonian" - in the entire British Museum, which I imagine to be a large building, there's only ONE security guard at night? 
Also starring Ben Stiller (last seen in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"), Robin Williams (last seen in "The Best of Times"), Owen Wilson (last seen in "Inherent Vice"), Steve Coogan (last heard in "Despicable Me 2"), Ricky Gervais (last seen in "Muppets Most Wanted"), Rebel Wilson (last heard in "Ice Age: Continental Drift"), Dan Stevens (last seen in "The Fifth Estate"), Skyler Gisondo (last seen in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"), Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck (last seen in "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"), Patrick Gallagher (ditto) with cameos from Dick Van Dyke (last seen in "Cold Turkey"), Mickey Rooney (last seen in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"), Bill Cobbs (last seen in "Random Hearts"), Andrea Martin (last seen in "Girl Most Likely"), Rachael Harris (last seen in "They Came Together"), Matt Frewer, Hugh Jackman (last seen in "Prisoners"), Alice Eve (last seen in "Men in Black 3")

RATING: 5 out of 10 constellations   

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