Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I don’t want to be overly negative, but this film sounds rancid. Awful. Brain-crushingly bad. Seriously. Check this guy’s review out.
Hi there, I had the chance to see the upcoming Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson/Robin Williams/Dick Van Dyke/Mickey Rooney Xmas event movie from Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures, Shawn Levy’s NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM at Fox's Little Theatre on the lot at 9 AM, yesterday, Saturday, Nov.11. The film gives us a rollicking what-if scenario with an entire museum of prehistoric artifacts and historical scene-makers coming to life at sundown. The movie, geared to X Gens and their fidgety kids, delivers a cinematic krazy-gluing of the typical 90's Stiller romantic comedy architecture with a typical Chris Columbus frying-pan-to-the face derivative of Home Alone. This time its Ben Alone as the lonely night watchman at the Big City museum! I wanted to like this movie, but it was cynical in the wrong places and ALL the characters were paper-thin. If you saw the trailer, the cinematography immerses you in the grand atrium of the National History Museum . And, yes, the first time the Neanderthals, Huns, T-Rex fossil, and taxidermied Serengeti fauna raise hell running the marble halls and galleries, you feel the intended ride so-wanted by the director. Unfortunately once ONE NIGHT becomes two and then three, the conceit of the film starts to wear. How has no one ever noticed this supernatural meltdown occurring on a nightly basis before? Ben even invites friends and family over to take a gander at his museum come to life. The Museum at Night concept is never fully exploited as it isn't played to be spooky beyond the set-up. It would have been nice if in the beginning the exhibits were coming to life in the dark, then one could question Stiller's sanity, and whether the living museum reality even existed. Instead all the action is played out under the lights for football playbook theatrics. Of course, Columbus adds the nefarious band of loser crooks out to have Stiller framed for an entire rip-off of museum treasures. And we get frenzied running-around and bonking-of -heads for nearly two hours. On the plus-side do however get a protracted slap-fest between Stiller and a capuchin monkey. And (SPOILER AHEAD) yes the monkey pees on him. So much for inspired hilarity. There’s no real pay-off on the romantic comedy side either. Owen Wilson is literally reduced in his role here. He plays a miniature cowboy in a Wild West diorama in pitched battle with a Roman warrior phalanx in an adjacent diorama. His appearance is so obviously blue-screen that there is barely any interaction scripted between Wilson and Stiller. Robin Williams is very good here but as Teddy Roosevelt he seems comically impaired by the weight of his moustache and cavalry uniform. I think I was the only person in the theater who cracked up when Teddy called Sacagawea "a handsome woman". The script has some funny/cute moments but no gutbusting laughs. The whole episode is endured by everyone here just so Stiller’s mopey kid of zero-dimension will think his dad is cool and look up to him instead of the bond trader that Stiller’s ex is currently engaged to. Yuck, right? Stomach turning? Wait til you see Ben surfing the Web to learn some badly needed history. I was cleverly hooked into attending because the cast also features Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney, who added together are about 300 if they are a day. Like a chump out of Bartenders College , I assumed that the inclusion of the ancient duo would bring me back to a funnier time when older actors were better exploited in Ben Stiller movies. No wheelchairs, no iron lungs, porn addictions, or other things remotely Farrelly. Mr. Van Dyke and Mr. Rooney strain for competency as the baddies and add to the disappointment. If you’re six years old you’ll make it through this misadventure okay but if you’re running around raving about what a hoot that Daniel Johnston documentary is, then you better avoid this one. R A V E N Los Angeles