Review: Night at the Museum

night_at_the_museum_cov.jpgYear: 2006
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke
Kaboom Review Action Movie Rating: 82

Plot
A Dad in need of a job in order to restore his son’s faith in him finds night guard work at a history museum where the exhibits come to life when the sun goes down.

Quick Review
A certain percentage of viewers will conclude that Night at the Museum was the dumbest movie they have ever seen, but if you are willing to make one large leap of faith with regards to the premise, you’ll find that the entertaining story, brisk action, decent comedy, and fun special effects in this movie will bring a smile to your face. This is an hour and a half well spent. We happily present Night at the Museum with a Bronze Explosion Award for its daring premise and the skill with which it realizes its potential.

Full Review
A movie with a premise this stupid risks being one of the worst movies ever made. Think about it: the main premise supporting this movie is a history museum where the exhibits come to life every night? Are you joking? But I have to hand it to Shawn Levy. However improbably, he manages to keep build a sustainable movie around this premise and carries it off with incredible flair. This movie was one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable movies I have seen in a long while.

night1.jpgHonestly, though, to enjoy this movie you’ve got to make a huge jump in suspending your disbelief with regards to the underlying concept, and then hold your mind back from exploring the obvious implications and consequences of such absurdness. If you can’t do that, you will likely find this movie the dumbest film of the year. If, however, you are willing to give Night at the Museum the benefit of the doubt with regards to its premise, you’ll find an action comedy with a lot to like.

Pacing—which drags in the beginning—picks up nicely and sustains a brisk pace once Larry, the main character, gets his job at the museum. From that point, the movie flies along like a T-Rex fetching bones. The movie is packed with action, both as a central element of the main story and as a backdrop to it; the film does a great job of creating the hilarity of an out-of-control museum.

night_at_the_museum2.jpgThe high quality cast, the decent script, and the effective special effects bring the movie to life. Ben Stiller acts well enough as the main character, but the star-laden cast shines in support. Deserving special mention are Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt, Rick Gervais as Larry’s boss, and Dick Van Dyke as one of the older night guards. The script is reasonably well developed for a movie with this much goofiness, and the one-liners range from innocuous to downright funny. They help deliver a plot that is surprisingly tight. The frantic ending wraps up the loose ends in the story tightly, and brings the main story to an effective end.

Adding another element of fun to the movie is the bonanza of cute special effects, from full-scale battles between miniature cowboys and Roman soldiers, to a massive T-Rex skeleton that chases bones around the museum. Technologically, there is nothing here that you haven’t seen before, but the sum of the effects puts a shine on this movie, and everything fits nicely within the story.

While part of the comedy is delivered through the script, much of it comes from slapstick action. I’m not a big fan of slapstick, and Night at the Museum has its share of pucks hitting people in the head, monkeys biting people on the nose, and cavemen playing with fire extinguishers. To the movie’s credit, they usually move through these scenes briskly, which is a key to effective slapstick. Kiddies will love this stuff, and adults will likely chuckle at some of it.

night_mizuo_peck_sacajawea.jpgThis movie is clearly aimed at a family audience; explosions, sex, and violent action are non-existent. There is one thing to mention here, however: Mizuo Peck, as the Native America scout Sacajawea, is stunningly beautiful in her role, and adds points to the babe factor. Elsewhere, we’ve got Ben Stiller and Robin Williams, so there’s not much to work with. Owen Wilson could help out here from the women’s vantage point, but he’s only four-inches tall for much of the movie, so there isn’t much to see.

A certain percentage of viewers will conclude that Night at the Museum was the dumbest movie they have ever seen, but if you are willing to make that one large leap of faith with regards to the premise, you’ll find that the entertaining story, brisk action, decent comedy, and fun special effects in this movie will bring a smile to your face. This is an hour and a half well spent. We happily present Night at the Museum with a Bronze Explosion Award for its daring premise and the skill with which it realizes its potential.

Score
Pace: 75
Plot: 65
Action: 78
Consistent Premise: 74
Script/Quotes: 60
Characters: 90
Acting: 80
Villain: 45
Body Count: 2
Time to First Dead Body: Long
Babes: 38
Hunks: 15
Explosions: 5
Special Effects: 88
Stunts: 20
Ending: 85

Overall: 82 (Bronze Explosion Award Winner)

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15 thoughts on “Review: Night at the Museum

  1. i loved this movie.. espeically the tiki stone man.. “dum dum, give me gum gum” lol.. he was mad ass hilarious.

  2. Yeah, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. Good pace, some laughs, nice special effects.

  3. tiki:Hey Dum Dum. You give me gum gum. Guy: I dont have any gum gum you dum dum! tiki: Me gum gum you dum dum! Tiki:uhh oh your in trouble!!! you better run run!!! here comes the hun huns!!!!!!

    Guy: Listen up every one!!!! (no one didnt shut up) tiki: beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Quietttttttt!! my dum dum whats the speak..

    lol very very very funny!!!

  4. I LOVE THE TIKI!!!!!!!

    Tiki: “Dum dum,”

    Larry: “yes,”

    Tiki: “you give me gum gum,”

    Larry: “I give you gum gum?”

    Tiki: “you no dum dum, you give me, gum gum.”

    Larry: “gee, I, ok, I’m, you know what, I have no gum gum, sorry and my name isn’t dum dum, my name is Larry”

    Tiki: NO, your name, dum dum,

    Huns: *yelling and so-forth*

    Tiki: “Ohhhhhh, you in trouble dum dum, you better run run, from the tale of the hun hun!”

    Larry: *running from the huns*

    Tiki: “see you later dum dum!”

    I also really like the part where the dinosaur wags his tail!

  5. I love this movie especially the tiki bit

    Tiki:DUM DUM
    Larry:Yea?
    Tiki:You bring me gum gum
    Larry:I bring you gum gum
    Tiki:Your dum dum….You bring me gum gum
    Larry:Im sorry i have no gum gum for you and my names not dum dum my names larry.
    Tiki:no your names dum dum
    Atilla the hun:AAAAAAAAAARGH
    Tiki:ooooh Your in big trouble dum dum you better run run from atilla the hun hun.

  6. Yeah, it’s amazing the amount of searches that we get for these lines. I think a lot of people really like the Tiki script and lines.

  7. Brittany,

    I think part of what helped me with this movie is that it was one of the first Ben Stiller movies I had seen. I’ve seen a couple more of his movies since then, and he’s become a bit repetitive for me.

    Still, I agree, this was an enjoyable movie!

  8. I loved this move.
    -Rexie is great. He’s a giant puppy who doesn’t know hos own streanth.
    -Dum-Dum the Easter Island head was great! I love his voice! But I feel bad that he can’t move around.
    -I also like when Octavius says, “It’s Octavius, Mary.” I think he says ‘Mary’ to get back at Larry for messing up his name. Mary and Larry sound a little alike when you pronounce the A’s in the same way.
    -The special effects were very good. They had to blend in real animals(To name a few, A horse, llamas, and a monkey) with the special effects ones, plus you see many caracters repeated in the backgrounds (A grean lion-like staue thing and two other statues ((not clumbus)), the rhino, and a the woolie mamoth), which is nice to see. You don’t want to just see a bunch of random caracters in the backgrounds.
    -I do think the layout of the museum could have been better. I think they messed up once or twice.
    -There was also a time when Larry’s tie wasn’t on, then it (magically) popped on.
    -And what I don’t get is this: why would Larry give dumb Neanderthals a lighter? Makes no sense. And why wouldn’t the stupid owner (though he is funny) know if one’s missing. I mean, he cought to whole thing with Octavius in the stockade. *Shrug*
    I do love the movie, though, and got many laughs out of it.

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