Friday, April 17, 2009
Night at the Museum. Feature film. (2006, 109 mins) IMDB
un, fun, fun.
The film has a trite plot, and follows the formula, but still it's fun. Laughs and adventure all confined to the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.
Stiller plays a dreamer who can't find his place in the world. He hopes his big idea will make him into something he isn't. His ex-wife has married a nerdy bond trader (Paul Rudd). He shares custody with their ten-year old son who doesn't want much to do with his flaky father. Hold up your hands if you've seen this before. Yes, I know, it's trite, but this film isn't meant to be provocative or insightful, it's meant to create laughs and it does.
Desperate to maintain a relationship with his son, he looks for any work that will give him some stability and ends up as the night watchman at the History of Natural Museum. That would normally spell the end of any story because such a job is filled with tedium except there's a catch. Ever since the museum received a certain Egyptian tablet--24 carat gold--the exhibits come to life during the night. A t-rex skeleton steps from his platform and growls and chases a bone like a dog. Teddy Roosevelt kicks the hinds of his horse and trots down the aisle. Attila the Hun raises his sword, screams and chases after our hero. From Romans, to Western settlers to Egyptians to African animals, the place comes alive. The result is chaos and danger and zaniness.
Suffice it to say once his son sees what his father's new job is like, he's no longer the butt of jokes.
Act III is as completely absurd as the second, but it does shift gears in the story and bring us to a conclusion. The conclusion being a statement his son made about his father in the opening minutes of the movie.
"What if you're wrong and you're just an ordinary guy who should get a job." Ouch.
Well, I guess the job doesn't matter. Maybe.
Posted 2009/04/17 at 18h21ET in Movie Commentary.