Who doesn’t like a museum that comes to life at night? I know I do! If only they did…
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) and friends are back in the third installment of the Night at the Museum series, but all is not well in New York’s Museum of Natural History. The exhibits are noticing they have problems and the tablet of Ahkmenrah that gives them life is corroding. When a big event at the Museum goes horribly wrong as the exhibits malfunction and cause chaos, Larry knows he has to discover the secret of the tablet. The gang travel to London in the hope that Ahkmenrah’s father, now in the British Museum, will reveal the secret before the exhibits are frozen forever.
All the Museum of Natural History characters are back, but the new addition of Laa, another neanderthal that is made to resemble Larry, gives Ben Stiller the chance to pay a funny double part. Returning favourites such as Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Steve Coogan), Attilla the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) and of course Theodore Rooseveldt (Robin Williams) mean the comedy is varied and silly. The main new character in London is Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) who plays a pivotal role in the plot and brings the story some daring do.
Whilst the effects are good, I’m not sure it’s quite as spectacular as the first two movies. Still, there are some excellent action sequences as the models in the British Museum begin to move for the first time when the tablet of Ahkmenrah arrives. There are also some interesting and unexpected cameos later in the film. In all, it’s a solid family movie.
As the characters are being threatened with losing the ability to be brought to life, there’s a lot in the film that is sad, particularly as we are seeing this after the death of Robin Williams, which brings the situations an added poignancy. I’m not going to reveal the ending and spoil what happens, but even with a glimmer that a fourth film in the series may be created, it does tug at the heartstrings.