Night at the Museum DVD Review
by Kam Williams
Ben Stiller Kiddie Comedy Comes to DVD
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is a lovable loser whose get-rich-quick schemes never seem to work out. The unemployed divorced-dad becomes desperate for a steady income after his ex-wife (Kim Raver) threatens to deny him visitation with their ten year-old son, Nick (Jake Cherry). So, he reluctantly takes the only job he can find, that being the night watchman at New York's Museum of Natural History.
After being shown the ropes by the three retirees (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs) who've shared the position till now, Larry is left all alone to discover that the statues and skeletons come alive when the museum is empty. And before you can say Jumanji-meets-Zathura, he finds himself overrun by everything from a Tyrannosaurus Rex to capuchin monkeys to Neanderthals to Attila (Patrick Gallagher) and the Huns to pint-sized cowboys (led by Owen Wilson) and miniature Roman gladiators (led by Steve Coogan).
Larry also interacts with a host of historical figures, like President Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Native American scout Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck), explorers Lewis (Martin Christopher) and Clark (Martin Sims). But don't expect much depth and you won't be disappointed by this special effects-driven adventure, because the basic idea, here, is to keep the tykes in the targeted demographic endlessly occupied.
Though there's even a love interest (Carla Gugino), don't expect much of a plot to sink your teeth into. Filled mostly with harmless fun from start to finish, Night at the Museum amounts to little more than a readily-digestible, and just as easily forgettable, frenetically-paced family flick.
Good (2 stars)
Rated PG for mild action, brief epithets and rude humor.
Running time: 110 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
2-Disc DVD Extras: Commentaries by the director and by the scriptwriters, deleted and extended scenes with optional director's commentary, blooper reel, DVD-ROM game, plus four additional featurettes.
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