Wookiee Hut Movie Reviews presents:
Night at the Museum

Movie Review by Rosie, PlazaQueen, and PandaCat

Director: Shawn Levy

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, et al.

Creator: Milan Trenc (The Night at the Museum) Children's novel.

Rating: Imperial Star Destroyer

This movie is based on a children’s story originally published in 1993. Ben Stiller plays Larry who takes a job as a night watchman at the Museum of Natural History as a last resort to add some stability to his life for his son's sake. Little does he know that it will not be the quiet, easy job he's expecting.

The presence of a magical Egyptian tablet in the museum causes the exhibits to come to life after dark — which leads to much mayhem. In this version of the story, the old night watchmen — played to curmudgeonly perfection by Mickey Rooney, and uncharacteristically two-faced by Dick Van Dyke — are setting Larry up to take the fall for theft of valuable museum property. After a rough first two days, Larry enlists the denizens of the museum to foil the plot and saves the day.

This is a simple story presented as light entertainment for the holidays, but it is well done and enjoyable — even when Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt momentarily slips into his Mork voice. Visual Effects Supervisor Jim Rygiel learned the magic he applied here working on the Lord of the Rings films, although this one was not nearly so large an undertaking. There's a lot of compositing of different elements into the same scene, but it all hangs together.

This film will not be a landmark in cinema history and it may not make it into my permanent video collection, but I will look forward to watching when it turns up on TV.

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