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article imageReview: Magic abounds in ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Dec 19, 2014 in Entertainment
‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ goes global to give its beloved characters the send-off they deserve in the third and final installment.
There have been a number of movies and television shows proposing that when the lights go off and everyone goes home for the night, supposedly lifeless objects come alive. It’s a secret that someone always stumbles upon and one they promise to keep in exchange for being part of the fairy tale. But nothing lasts forever. In Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the magic is running out and the only hope of saving it is an ocean away.
Larry (Ben Stiller) and the museum artifacts have been rehearsing a stunning fundraising routine for weeks, but on the night of the performance everyone goes haywire midway through the show. No one understands what happened until Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) notices the enchanted tablet is corroding. Explaining only his father (Sir Ben Kingsley) knows its ancient mysteries, Larry must take the tablet to London where Ankh’s parents are displayed. The two-man mission turns into a team effort when it’s discovered a group of stowaways followed them from New York. So Larry, Ahkmenrah, Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck), Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Steve Coogan) et al. with the assistance of Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) negotiate the maze of the newly waking British Museum to find Ahkmenrah’s parents and save their friends — but someone has their own agenda that could jeopardize everything.
This film follows the general formula for trilogies, including going back to the beginning and demonstrating no one is safe. Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs reprise their roles at a retirement home, still bitter about Larry’s involvement in their dismissal. However, it’s here he finds the answers he needs to move forward in the investigation. There are also some very heartfelt goodbyes made in this picture, none more earnest than Williams’ as this is also the last movie he’d complete before passing away.
The adventure and excitement are built into the ticking clock narrative, though it also takes some time to address the dynamic between Larry and his son who is expected to go to college the following year. The pace of the erosion seems sporadic and linked to its purpose as a plot device, but its effects on the people-by-night is still effective.
While the longevity and nature of the characters leaves it open for further sequels, it's probably safe to assume this will be the final picture in the franchise (though Rebel Wilson’s security guard adventures would probably be fascinating). With director Shawn Levy and the original cast returning one last time (both Stiller and Williams even have dual roles), it maintains the feel of the other films from the comedy to the emotions to the sheer scale and mysticism of the stories. The change in location is just the variation they needed to keep the plot fresh without too many modifications. And in the end, it's actually the ideal conclusion for what remained a reliable and entertaining series.
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams and Owen Wilson
More about Review, night at the museum, Secret of the Tomb, Ben stiller, Robin williams
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