Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)
Directed by Shawn Levy
In Robin Williams’s 30-year acting career, “Night at the Museum” marked the only time he ever starred in a movie franchise. Now, eight years after he first donned that beige military outfit to play President Teddy Roosevelt, Robin Williams makes his final on-screen appearance and the “Night at the Museum” trilogy reaches its end. Thankfully for Robin’s legacy and the audiences that have been with Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) through his museum misadventures for nearly a decade, “Secret of the Tomb” serves as an emotional, exciting, and humorous capper to that great family franchise.
The Tablet of Ahkmenrah, that golden artifact that brings museums to life, is finally losing its magic. To learn the trick to preventing the complete deterioration of the tablet and its powers, Larry (Stiller), his son Nick (Skyler Gisondo), Teddy (Williams), Sacagawea (Mizuo Peck), Jed (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Steve Coogan), Dexter (Crystal the Monkey), Attila (Patrick Gallagher), and Ahkmenrah himself (Rami Malek) will travel to the British Museum in London to consult with Ahkmenrah’s father (Ben Kingsley). Along the way, they’ll meet Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) and a bumbling security guard (Rebel Wilson) who will stand between them and saving the day.
“Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” stands in my mind as one of the most successful sequels in recent memory. IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes may not agree, but I thought this hilarious second act far exceeded the original. Unfortunately, “Secret of the Tomb” didn’t follow that upward trend. With a predictable script that turns what could have been sentimental dialogue into sappiness …not to mention an overall lack of humor (not like its laugh-a-minute predecessor)… “Secret of the Tomb” relies on its exciting adventure scenes to drive the story. In fact, I only recall one joke worth remembering, from Ben Kingsley. Other than that, my chuckles were often the result of slapstick gags and one fun cameo (“Night at the Museum” has always done well with those). At only 97 minutes, it doesn’t have trouble keeping your attention from start to finish, and it provides emotional closure to a franchise that started in my early teens (and for that, I’m thankful), but I see no reason to add “Secret of the Tomb” to my permanent collection for re-viewing.