A Movie Review! (Because I Have No New Updates on B3!)
Haha, yes, I've been trying to brainstorm ideas for posting when I have no updates on B3, so I decided I'd write about a movie I saw recently, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. This is the third installment of the Night at the Museum film series, preceded by Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. (Count how many times I write Night at the Museum in this post, if you want.) If you haven't seen these movies, do so immediately. Right now. Go rent the DVDs or watch them online (legally, of course). They are fantastic, for a number of reasons:
1) There's no sex, alcohol, or language. A few mildly crude jokes / events occur, but nothing worse than most of the other shows your kids are watching these days.
2) Kids can actually learn a few things about history from these movies! For example, Theodore Roosevelt, fondly known as "Teddy" in the movies, was the 26th president of the United States, and Sacajawea led Lewis and Clark on an expedition across mostly-undiscovered America with a newborn baby on her back. Now, most adults will know these things, but kids can certainly brush up on their history while enjoying the humor and adventure.
3) It's just a great story! I don't often say a story is original, but I think the Night at the Museum movies falls nicely into that category. They are based on a children's book with a similar plot by Milan Trenc, but the movies really capture a fun, exciting, educational story of friends from all over the world who work together (despite language / culture barriers) to help each other with purely unselfish motives. Even the rough-and-tumble cowboy Jedediah and proud Roman centurion Octavius become close friends despite being sworn enemies in the first film.
Now! Moving on to my review of the third film :)
For a complete summary of the story, click here. I'll give a short one in this post for anyone who is actually still reading ;) The Museum of Natural History has remodeled its planetarium and is holding a grand event to celebrate its reopening. Many important people are in attendance (including Regis Philbin, apparently, although he is never shown). Larry has orchestrated a presentation involving all of the museum's most popular exhibits, and for 95% of the presentation, everything goes wonderfully. But then everyone begins acting aggressively for no apparent reason, and the guests flee for their lives.
Later Larry discovers that Ahkmenrah's tablet, which brings everything in the museum to life at night, is beginning to erode. He convinces the museum director, Dr. McPhee, to let him and Ahkmenrah travel to the British Museum to speak to Akhmenrah's parents, who may have answers about the tablet and strange behavior of the exhibits. Along with his son Nick, Teddy, Sacajawea, Attila, Dexter, Jed, Octavius, and a new Neanderthal named Laa, Larry travels to London. After many narrow escapes and meeting new friends, he and the exhibits save the day once again by (spoiler alert!) refreshing the tablet's magic with moonlight.
All in all, this was a great finale to the film series and a wonderful tribute to the late Robin Williams, who played Teddy Roosevelt in all three films. Going into the theater, my friend G.C. and I wondered how the filmmakers had managed to make a new museum interesting, new characters likeable, and the old characters just as lovable as before. Our fears were assuaged—the humor was just as delightful as the previous movies, the action just as intense, and the new characters equally remarkable (there was even a short scene with Hugh Jackman, playing himself). The intriguing power of Ahkmenrah's tablet was finally explained, and the audience got to meet his parents ... who were far more likeable than their other son, Kahmunrah, who was the antagonist in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. The main foil in this movie was Lancelot, who believed the tablet to be the Holy Grail and nearly cost the exhibits their lives by stealing it from Larry; while he wasn't my favorite of the new characters introduced, he had his moments and eventually cleaned up his act. The reunion of Ahkmenrah and his parents was truly touching, and the underlying theme of parents struggling to let their children make their own decisions would make for good discussion for parents with children approaching
the teen years. I'm going to take a few points off for unnecessary crudeness, but overall, I give Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 9 stars out of 10. The humor and general feel of the films may not be for everyone, clearly, but this is one of my favorite film series, and I'm honestly mourning the fact that this was the last Night at the Museum movie for all of time. (But I've incorporated a few elements and Ahkmenrah into my Doctor Who fan-fiction story, so all is well :D )
If you managed to make it all the way through this post, I'm proud of you—I get passionate about my movies ;) Well, that's all for now, folks! Enjoy your weekend, and when we speak again, I'll be in Virginia!