The Night at the Museum series has really been one of the best family series of films in quite some time. They have the humor of Ben Stiller and actors like Robin Williams and Steve Coogan for the adults and lots of talking statues, animals and slapstick action for the kids. And all presented within the context of showing kids history and how much fun museums can be. And it works. My daughter now requests to go to museums all the time and has become obsessed with ancient Egypt. The latest chapter in the franchise, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb arrives this week on Blu-ray and DVD.
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) after becoming quite well off from his inventions, is now the Night Exhibit manager at the Museum of Natural History in New York. Every night the Tablet of Ahkmenrah brings all the inhabitants of the museum to life to entertain crowds thinking it is all a special effects show. But when the exhibits start displaying strange behavior and the tablet shows sign of deterioration, Larry and a few friends have to travel to the London Museum to find Ahkmenrah’s parents and figure out how to stop the tablet from disappearing and never bringing the museum to life ever again.
While the second part in this series didn’t quite live up to the standards delivered by the original film, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb gets back some of that magic and also ups the ante in terms of visual effects. And with the change of locale to London we also get a menagerie of new characters and creatures that come to life in that museum. From giant squids to Sir Lancelot himself, the adventure keeps a great pace and has lots of laughs for kids and parents alike. Stiller even does double duty here not only as his character Larry but as a newly added Caveman who is a real scene stealer. Overall your family movie night can do a lot worse than Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.