Monday, January 15, 2007
Night At The Museum
What do you see when your group includes two people in their forties, two people in their thirties, a 14 year old, a 12 year old, a 10 year old and a 9 year old?
It's not brilliant or perfect in any way, but there's something for everybody. Yes, it aims to teach you all that a museum is a swingin fun rockin place to go for entertainment, and yes it gets rather preachy about it. We didn't really need that lesson. We love museums with a damn near geeky enthusiasm. (We don't get out much.)
I was afraid this would be like Jumanji II. Luckily for me this one isn't nearly as stressful.
Did I mention preachy? It comes from the Divorced Dad trying to redeem himself to his kid, his ex wife, and her squeaky clean and ambitious new man.
Oh and there's also the theme of Dreamer Who Can't Get It Together And Always Gives Up, Moving On To The Next Crazy Get Rick Soon Scheme.
It goes like this: Larry needs a job. He gets sent to the Museum of Natural History, where the three night guards are being squeezed out of their job and are to be replaced by one guy. They get to choose the guy.
As it turns out, they're not quite as feeble as they first appear to be. Everything in the museum comes to life after dark, and they have it all figured out how to deal with the chaos that erupts. Now Larry has to figure out how control a puppy of a tyrannosaurus, armies of tiny fighting guys, and Attila the Hun. Plus there's a monkey who's got it in for him.
Ben Stiller plays it like Ben Stiller. He's reeeeelly reeeelly gooddd looooking. It's a likeable performance.
Of course, Owen Wilson shows up, as a tiny over excited cowboy, just because Stiller and Wilson are like Peas And Carrots.
Robin Williams keeps it together and does not chew up the whole movie. What restraint!
The plot is easy enough to follow for kids, but not so incredibly dumb that we older folks zoned out.
There are plot problems, minor ones, but I would like to harp on a little peeve of mine. When our boy Larry jumps on the Former-President's-Wax-Likeness' horse and saves the day, I give up. The average New Yorker can jump on a horse for the first time and gallop across Central Park to save the day? If you are a New Yorker and you could full gallop a horse like that, please tell me so that I can stand corrected. Dammit, it's scenes like this that make life very difficult for riding instructors! Ok, rant over.
I especially loved the trio of cantankerous old guys. I love it that they are much stronger and smarter than we expect. Let's hear it for old guys!!! (Yeah, I'm old enough to remember when Dick Van Dyke was on my black and white TV!)
I don't think it's a classic, but it doesn't stink to high hell. I'll give it...
THREE JOHN DEERE TRACTORS!