Sunday, December 31, 2006
Film Review: Night at the Museum
Night at the Museum (PG)
Dir. Shawn Levy
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
At the Museum of Natural History, something unnatural is occurring… Big time.
I know it sounds far fetched but stay with me here – Shawn Levy has finally made a half decent film!?
Yes the hack director who single headedly murdered the Pink Panther remake serves up a family pleasing CGI heavy treat. Oh and only slightly less amazing is the fact that everything in the Museum featured in New York comes alive and wreaks havoc at night including a T-Rex dinosaur skeleton!
Ben Stiller stars as hapless dad Larry who is having problems holding down employment whilst juggling his child care duties and payments to his ex-wife. He gets the job of night guard at the museum which is run by strict Mr. McPhee (a superb comedy cameo from Ricky ‘The Office / Extras’ Gervais) but little does he know quite what he’s in for… You see there is an ancient Egyptian curse that grants life to every exhibit in the museum – that includes such wild and wacky characters such as Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams for once to be credited for playing in his usual ‘waxwork dummy come to life’ style), Attila the Hun and various creatures great and small.
Pick of the visual effects is the T-Rex which is less terrifying once you realise that it just really wants to play ‘fetch’ with one of its bones. But most fun comes thanks to feuding miniature diorama characters – the Romans Legions led by an excellent Steve Coogan as Octavius versus a whooping cowboy posse led by Jedadiah (Owen Wilson) who wake up to wage war on each other with dangerous glee.
Of course there is an unlikely love interest on hand in the shapely form of Carla ‘Sin City’ Gugino but full marks to the filmmakers for not going too far down a slushy romantic dead end. Night at the Museum is all about manic slapstick fun and it delivers in spades everything from a monkey slapping contest, stampeding wildlife – including a mammoth and a miniature remote control car chase (Wilson referencing his Dukes of Hazzard role).
It probably needs to be seen with an enthusiastic kid or two in tow for maximum enjoyment - both my boys were especially impressed with the notion of riding a T-Rex skeleton and pronounced the film as being “pretty awesome” overall. I found it mildly diverting and couldn’t find much to dislike – so if you haven’t ventured out to a museum for a while, this one should certainly be considered.
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö - madcap
Laughs ööö – enough
Horror öö – a bit tense (if you're 6)
Babes ööö – Carla ‘Sin City’ Gugino is hot - see below
Overall ööö (enjoy with kids but maybe not on your own)
"Gugino in Sin City... but surely that other bloke is my mate John? see next photo..."
"paintball scars from his pre marriage stag day 2006"
Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Matt Adcock at 10:17 pm