Thanks to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment we had the chance to see Shawn Levy’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb on Blu-Ray.
When the magical Egyptian tablet capable of bringing things in the museum to life at night starts losing its powers, security guard Larry (Ben Stiller), once again has to find a way to save the day, this time by stopping his friends from becoming museum props forever.
Larry must fly to a museum in the UK to find answers. On this trip, he will meet Sir Lancelot (Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens) and British guard, Tilly (Rebel Wilson), without realising that his comrades Teddy (Robin Williams), Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavious (Steve Coogan), Attila (Patrick Gallagher), Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck) and Dexter (Crystal The Monkey) have also managed to sneak in and travel with him.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb feels like an extra hour and a half of a long movie that started back in 2006 with the first film. This third part is very similar to the previous two movies. Once again, the story follows the familiar pattern: magic brings museum to life; threat to the magic of the museum; Larry and his mates have to save the day. This is all executed with the aid of a bunch of impressive special effects which this time includes not only one but two dinosaur pet skeletons.
Aussie funny girl Rebel Wilson manages to deliver a couple of the best jokes during the film, but her character feels extremely underdeveloped and rushed in for a movie that could have been a straight-to-DVD release. However, another fellow Aussie steals the spotlight with a random cameo: Hugh Jackman makes his Night at The Museum debut in this film, in a hilarious way.
An effort to bring something new to the franchise is clearly represented by the character of Laa, (also played by Stiller) a Neanderthal made to look like Ben Stiller’s character who joins the official diorama at the museum. Owing to his appearance, he believes that he is Larry’s son, but the character doesn’t really work. In addition, director Shawn Levy makes the classic huge mistake found in many movie sequels: the much-hated “daddy issues” subplot rears its ugly head and feels forced. Larry’s son (Skyler Gisondo) has a bigger role in the film, putting his father in a delicate situation as he attempts to gain more independence in order to become a DJ in Ibiza…really?
Perhaps the most touching aspect of the movie is the closure between Stiller’s Larry and Robin William’s Teddy Roosevelt, as they bid each other farewell in a scene that brings back so many memories of the beloved actor who sadly left us last year. And, once again, William proves he is (we won’t dare say “was,” as he lives on in his movies) a comedic genius in this film.
On a positive note, the Blu-Ray release is packed with over an hour of extra features, including on-set improvisations that brought some of the best jokes to life, a look at Ben Stiller’s Laa transformation, deleted & extended scenes, and perhaps the best one (named after MC Escher’s famous artwork “The Theory of Relativity”) which is used during what is the best scene of the film in terms of visual effects, and much more.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is available on DVD and Blu-Ray on 9 April 2015