Before I start: back safely from Florida, blah blah blah. Further ruminations may follow, but then again maybe not; there are few things duller than other people’s holiday travelogues.
A Night at the Museum
In a nutshell: not worth the price of admission. Or the price of the blockbuster rental, for that matter.
I’m not sure what else to say, This movie wasn’t as spectacularly bad as Eragon; it was just banal. 80% of it is filler which is so transparently lifted from every other Heartwarming Holiday Movie that the actors appear to be sleepwalking through it. There’s the Loser Dad with a Good Heart, the Harrassed Mom, the Tool Boyfriend, and the Plucky, Wise-for-His-Years Kid. The latter is a particularly egregious example of how little the writers cared to differentiate this movie; he might as well have been a cardboard prop, for all the character is developed. If you’ve seen Liar, Liar or any of a dozen other let’s-give-the-lovable-putz-dad-a-second-chance movies you’ve seen the majority of this movie already. Only you probably enjoyed it more the first time, because the Lovable Putz wasn’t played by the congenitally irritating Ben Stiller.
The only redeeming features in the film are the supporting actors, particularly Owen Wilson and the CGI Easter Island Head. Yes, Robin Williams is in there too but his performance is telegraphed in. And, again, you’ve seen most of these characters’ screen time in the previews. If the movie had simply been two hours of a guy surviving one night at a museum where all the exhibits come alive at night, it would have been great. Unfortunately, it fritters most of it’s time away in dialog, Swelling-Music Moments, and a caper plot that’s so gratuitous the conspirators simply vanish shortly before the end of the movie. The cleverest bit in the movie is a stinger that plays during the credits, wherein the hapless
would-be thieves comment on the fact that they were unceremoniously written out of the script.
I spent the better part of the movie reading Thus Spake Zarathustra on my PDA. It was that dull.