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NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3: SECRET OF THE TOMB

SYNOPSIS: Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.

Review by Louise Keller:
A zippy script injects renewed life to the Museum franchise, offering a crowd-pleasing mix of inventive ideas, quirky humour and impressive visual effects to its star-studded cast. With director Shawn Levy once again at the helm, Dinner for Schmucks screenwriters David Guion and Michael Handelman have cleverly incorporated a twist to the premise of the Museum of National History's exhibits coming to life by moving the characters from New York to London. Smart move; well executed.

Hugh Jackman features in one the film's highlights, when he plays himself playing King Arthur in the London Palladium's stage production of Camelot. It's not only Jackman's celebrity and ability to cut through the artifice that works beautifully, but clever writing incorporates Sir Lancelot, a knight from the exhibit, who cannot get his head around the chasm between fantasy and reality. Look out for my favourite Escher-inspired sequence - it's like being caught up in a graphic novel. Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan are funny together; they feature in a fun sequence in a deserted Roman city setting which they have difficulty identifying - until the nearby volcano starts to spew lava. Ricky Gervais is always fun to watch and he is entertaining as the New York museum head who becomes aghast when everything goes awry during a spectacular fund-raising dinner.

A brief prelude in 1938 Egypt sets the scene for the film's premise, which involves ancient gold tablets from a pharaoh's tomb whose 'magic' has begun to fade, threatening the nightly awakenings of the museum exhibits. There is also a story strand involving Ben Stiller's night watchman Larry and his relationship with his teenage son Nick (Skyler Gisondo, excellent) who wants to spread his wings before thinking about going to college.

I couldn't help but feel rather sad seeing Robin Williams onscreen for the last time - in his role as Teddy Roosevelt. The constant bickering between Larry and the Neanderthals made in his image becomes tiresome, but Rebel Wilson as the London security guard who has a big time crush on the latter is an amusing distraction. Dexter, the mischievous little monkey who gets into the middle of everything, is a real scene stealer and the footage of cats chasing a laser light has a clever pay off.

Propelled by its clever ideas, this is good family entertainment, offering great fantasy fun for all ages.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3: SECRET OF THE TOMB (PG)
(US/UK, 2014)

CAST: Robin Williams, Rebel Wilson, Dan Stevens, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Ben Kingsley, Dick Van Dyke, Rami Malek, Mickey Rooney, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan

PRODUCER: Chris Columbus, Shawn Levy

DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy

SCRIPT: David Guion, Michael Handelman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Guillermo Navarro

EDITOR: Dean Zimmerman

MUSIC: Alan Silvestry

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Martin Whist

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 25, 2014







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