Following the trend of unnecessary sequels, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb once again finds Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) fighting to save the museum. I’ve been a fan of Stiller for some time, but this third entry is really striving to keep things going. While I did enjoy the first Museum, I didn’t think it was anything particularly groundbreaking. It was, however, a huge success, and theinevitable sequel was coming whether I liked it or not. This film proved to be a modest success, but still couldn’t reach the heights set by its predecessors. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a 4th entry, but knowing Hollywood, they’ll find a way, and I’m sure. Maybe a reboot in a few years?
Don’t expect me to stand in line for it. Fans can expect the usual assortment of returning characters, though. We get Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and of course, Robin Williams.
Perhaps most noteworthy is that this film features Williams in one of his final roles. He once again stars as Teddy Roosevelt. He has some mildly amusing moments, but much of the antics here just feel lazy and tired at this point. There’s only so much one can squeeze from this flimsy premise. Since I can’t recall much about the second film, I’m not sure how it stands up to it in terms of quality. I think another important thing to remember is that this is a family film first and foremost. I’m sure the young ones will eat it up. It’s certainly a decent enough way to pass the time. Clocking in at 98 minutes, it won’t keep you too long, and should hold theattention of parents who might be more patient than myself. The premise is easy enough to keep with it, but the special effects and lightheartedness will be what the fans expect. While I’m not overly crazy about this series, fans should feel fine with this third installment.
Video: How’s it look?
On the surface, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb looks consistent with what we’ve come to expect from a day and date Blu-ray film. There are some sequences in the movie, however, that aren’t exactly what you’d expect from the movie. There are some pseudo-animated scenes, though the movie is 99% film-based. That said, I wasn’t really quite as taken with this as I was with some other newer releases. The image seemed a bit on the darker side and though the detail was amazing, it just felt like the color was a bit off. Not in a bad way, more along the lines as if everyone had a sunburn. Then again, maybe it’s just me but after reading some other reviews of this title, it’s not exactly perfect. Still, it’s not exactly bad either – I doubt the target audience will mind.
Audio: How’s it sound?
On the other hand, the DTS HD Master Audio mix makes the movie fun and adventuresome – just as it should be. Vocals pour out of the center channel with the utmost clarity and fronts, surrounds all do their respective parts to make this a very immersive mix. Directional effects really had me going as well, my head was zigging and zagging trying to follow the action throughout. It’s a playful, yet robust mix that audiences should enjoy.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Fox has wisely loaded this disc with supplemental material. There’s a lot included, though none of it too deep in regard to actual content. Nevertheless, let’s check it out.
Audio Commentary – Director Shawn Levy serves up a pretty interesting commentary track. Levy, who also helmed the film’s two prior installments, obviously has nearly a decade of “experience” with Stiller and the gang, but he seems to enjoy the film, its challenges and has a soft spot in his heart for Robin Williams.
Improv, Absurdity and Cracking Up – The Comedy of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – In essence, it’s a serious version of a Gag Reel (if that makes any sense). We get a look at all the comedic talent in the film and laughs are bound to occur.
Deleted and Extended Scenes – Fourteen minute’s worth though none of any major significance.
The Theory of Relativity – Remember that “pseudo animated” sequence I mentioned in the Video section? This is a more in-depth look at it and how it was done.
Becoming Laaa – Stiller’s transformation from Larry the Security Guard to Cro-Magnon man.
The Home of History: Behind the Scenes at The British Museum – A look at the British museum in which a majority of the filming was done.
A Day in the Afterlife – Some of the characters that have been brought back for this movie are analyzed.
Creating the Visual Effects – Just that – how some of the visual effects were achieved.
Fight at the Museum – The hydra fight sequence is analyzed here.
The Bottom Line
While not without its charm, NightattheMuseum: Secret of the Tomb did little for me. There’s just the feeling throughout that theactors are going through the motions. Fans of the first two films will probably find more enjoyment than me, but all other should steer clear.