Friday, December 22, 2006

Night At The Museum

Great Special effects and an original story make this a really fun film. It takes a minute to get rolling but once Ben Stiller accepts the job as a night watchman at the Museum of Natural History, the film shifts into overdrive. Plenty of mayhem ensues when everything at the Museum comes to life at night, thanks to a magic Egyptian charm. The clever screenplay mixes slapstick, family values, history lessons, and an unlikely love story into basically a two hour commercial for the museum.

The casting is excellent. Ben Stiller is a master at controlled chaos and Robin Williams is a restrained but perfect Teddy Roosevelt. Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan are great fun as a feuding cowboy and Roman general. And for the adults in the audience, it's good to see Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke and Bill Cobb still haven't lost their touch.

Having been to the real museum many times, you can easily imagine many of the exhibits coming to life. There may be some concern that the film would scare children from visiting the museum but even the few scary moments are quickly played for laughs, particularly initial moments with the T-Rex and The Mummy. Actually, I believe by the film's end, people will be encouraged to visit the museum and that's a good thing as it's a wonderful institution. For any family, this is a enjoyable "night" out.

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