An Ode to the Museum
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is back working as the night guard at the Museum of Natural History and is also in charge of orchestrating a brand new attraction which of course thanks to the Tablet of Ahkmenrah magically comes to life. But the Tablet has begun to corrode and with every inch which loses its sheen the magic which brings the statues to life is lost. When Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) explains that his father knows the secrets of the Tablet, Larry, Ahkmenrah and a whole host of friends including Dexter head to the UK to seek out the Pharaoh in the hope that he knows how to save the Tablet and in doing so preserve the magic.
Whilst I enjoyed the original "Night at the Museum" I was less than impressed by "Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" which felt little more than a money making act of playing on audiences loyalty. It is why I actually put off watching "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb", the third movie in the series, as I feared it would again be little more than an attempt to make money out of those who still remember the fun and magic of the original. The thing is that there is part of this third movie which does feel like that yet at the same time there is something quite beautiful about "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" as it acts like a farewell to the story, the characters yet with the magic still there.
So as I said, there is something about "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" which feels like it is just rehashing the past and in truth this is the problem with cinema today where if you have a successful movie they feel obliged to give a sequel. The thing is that there isn't much you can do with bringing museum exhibits to life which hadn't been done in the first movie. As such whilst the story sees Larry on a quest in England to save the tablet we get the usual issues from dealing with a local security guard, dealing with different exhibits coming to life as well as dealing with someone wanting to steal the Tablet of Ahkmenrah. And yes it is mostly amusing but it can never feel like anything more than a rehash of what it has done before.
But there is that sense that "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" is a farewell to the franchise and as such whilst some of the rehashed gags feel like repeated filler there is something quite touching about seeing these old characters and their relationship with Larry. It is also nice to see how Larry goes on a journey himself in this third movie when it comes to his relationship to his son who now is planning for his own future. But the way the movie ends does this wonderful thing of bringing closure yet with the magic still there, I just hope they don't try to bleed any more money out of the franchise as this is a fitting ending.
What this all boils down to is that "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" gives us that mix of delivering what we expect from the franchise but at the same time bringing a nice sense of closure to the series with the characters having gone on the journey and with the magic still there.