If you’re keen to have a fun family movie night, make sure you watch Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. From the first moment we arrived at the Sydney premiere, the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement. Families were queuing up, waiting for comedic princess Rebel Wilson to attend. Children had their cameras in hand, cheering as the star walked the red carpet.

The Night at the Museum series has worked so well over the past few years, and the new film was certainly a great way to tie things up. The movie opened with a moment from the past. The way in which the tomb, containing the tablet of Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) was discovered. Setting up the film to focus on the way history impacts the future, especially for the artefacts at the museum.

The different story lines within the movie worked really well. One of my favourites was the Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Octavius (Steve Coogan) storyline, travelling through different exhibits, with hilarious consequences. Basing the concept around two museums really worked, and opened new doors for the future of this franchise. Rebel Wilson as Tilly, the night guard at the British museum was pure genius.

I was also impressed by the performance of Robin Williams, returning to his role as Teddy Roosevelt, who provided some truly touching moments within the film. The night guards were also a welcoming surprise, with Dick Van Dyke as Cecil, Mickey Rooney as Gus and Bill Cobbs as Reginald reprising their roles as the ex caretakers of the museum. Adding to the storyline, in quite an interesting way.

The new villain was unexpected. A gasp was audibly heard throughout the cinema when it was discovered. The new characters were great, with a focus on the interactive aspect of the New York exhibit, including the constellations. Along with the British addition including Ahkmenrah’s parents, Merenkahre (Ben Kingsley), Shepseheret (Anjali Jay) and Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens), who awaken for the first time to help.

Some parts did feel like they dragged on for a while, these moments were primarily Larry (Ben Stiller), interacting with different characters, such as his potential relation to one of the cavemen Laaa (Ben Stiller). This could perhaps be due to the writing. It wasn’t all the time, for instance his moments with Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais) and his son, Nick (Skyler Gisondo) were quite funny. There was a great moment in the film, where we see a rugged Aussie actor take to the stage, and add some lovely comical moments, to the already funny film. Lets say, it’s worth it, just to see his signature move in different circumstances.

You know a film has succeeded when the audience laugh, especially children. I’ve been to movies where some of the essence was lost, because children didn’t find particular situations funny. This film offers both the intellectual and physical comedic aspect. Everyone was responsive; the funny, sad and happy moments were enjoyed by all.

I overheard some families who were attending the advanced screenings (running simultaneously) mention, they were there for Birthday parties, and that it was one of the best experiences they had. Inspired by the new film, we went to the Australian Museum in Sydney, and took in the unique exhibits on offer.

The parting thought was in loving memory of Night at the Museum stars, Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams, also something we should never forget, “Magic never ends.”

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


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