Night At The Museum (2006) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs

Director: Shawn Levy

Do you remember as a child wandering around a vast, major natural history museum in awe of the towering exhibits and sometimes fearsome 3D models of extinct prehistoric animals? While some exhibits were scary and interactive and kept your interest at a peak, others like the dioramas became bland as your eyes glazed over at the static, motionless depictions of a past era that were difficult to envisage and grasp.

What if they could have come to life and re-enacted the scene they were set in? Not as a film – but for real!

Well that’s what happens to Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), the new night security guard at the museum of natural history. Dropped in at the dead end by his new boss, he settles down to the eerie silence of his night shift but before he can read his shift instruction sheet, which will apparently answer all the questions he needs to know, the exhibits come to life – and he’s their target! From a Tyrannosaurus Rex chasing him along corridors to Attila the Hun intent on pulling his limbs off, Larry is under siege. Can he survive the mayhem that erupts within these walls and survive until morning and the end of his shift?

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM is a brilliantly entertaining, live action combined with CGI, adventure comedy that brings to life a child’s imagination. Ben Stiller along with his supporting cast especially buddy Owen Wilson, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais keep the action coming. It was nice to see old timers Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs playing the baddies and getting in on the action, while Carla Gugino (SPY KIDS trilogy) and Kim Raver (24 TV series) play Larry’s hopefully-to-be girlfriend and ex-wife respectively.

This is one of those movies that’s really great fun for all the family to watch and is skilfully directed by Shawn Levy (CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN) allowing your imagination to run wild.

5 out of 6 stars