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REVIEW OF NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB

year: 2014 rating: ***
Starting much like the middle of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or the beginning of THE EXORCIST, we learn an Egypt archeology backstory of the device that brought everything to life in the first place: that place being the museum where Ben Stiller’s put-upon night-watchman Larry sees stuff happening no one else does, after hours…

Robin Williams
This time, several problems arise: the insides get taken out when the public witness a barrage of the creatures and characters running rampant, and yet it’s all blamed on special effects… But it was that ancient artifact that caused the chaos, and eventually Larry and the whole gang, including Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt, Owen Wilson as a miniature cowboy with Steve Coogan's Gladiator and the urinating monkey wind up in a London museum to put the magic back in order before, according to the curse learned in the prologue, it all goes... blank.

Dan Stevens as Lancelot
The best element in this third MUSEUM is Dan Stevens as Sir Lancelot, starting out as a pontificating hero and winding up a desperate villain, of sorts, and pretty much stealing the show – or at least his own scenes, which are the most important.

Despite the fact the movie doesn’t quite know how and when to end, the plot keeps having to be continuously explained, and Ben Stiller playing himself as a Neanderthal (creepily resembling Tom Cruise)  is more irritating than humorous, SECRET OF THE TOMB is a breezy and sometimes funny but never hilarious wild ride rollercoaster: either an end to the franchise or setting up the beginning of another installment. And with night guard Rebel Wilson now in charge, let’s hope it just… rests eternally.

Dick Van Dyke makes a cameo as well as the late Mickey Rooney. Stick around to see the end credit dedication to Rooney and Robin Williams. And during Larry’s prolonged farewell to Teddy, it’s apparent he was the Scarecrow to be  missed "most of all.”
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