Tuesday 18th January 2022

Night at the Museum (PG)
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

As regular readers will know, I do enjoy a good comedy. The emphasis being firmly on the word "good", because in my view, most comedies are about as funny as a trip to the proctologist. I am also dead against films that exploit the school holidays. The latest Ben Stiller vehicle, Night at the Museum, is therefore skating on some very thin ice.

Stiller takes man's last resort, and reads the instructions
Stiller takes man's last resort, and reads the instructions

The story sees Stiller's character as a bit of a dreamer who has never had a steady job and imagines he will one day have an exceptional career or start his own business. However, he is made to realise that he must get some stability in his life for the benefit of his son, and so he takes a job as the night guard at the Museum of Natural History.

It comes as quite a surprise, then, when all the creatures and exhibits in the museum come to life on his first night, with the inevitable "hilarious" consequences. While his first night is something of a disaster, he quickly adapts to keep the various critters under control during his night shifts, and is eventually called upon to stop a serious burglary at the museum. You'll be pleased to know that he learns some Important Lessons About Life on the way too. Ahhhh.

With Steve Coogan, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais and Dick Van Dyke providing support, there can be no complaints about the cast, but it is disappointing that these actors are really limited to small parts. The special effects are very good, and there are a (very) few funny moments, the best one of which might well be compared to There's Something About Mary, in that it sees Ben Stiller spanking a monkey.

The PG certificate of this film is an excellent indication of its intended audience – it is ideal for the pre-teens. Unfortunately for the more mature amongst you (I'm not really including myself in that) you will probably find this functional holiday film lacking in jokes or surprises.

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Length: 108 minutes
Certificate: PG
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 26th December 2006

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