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Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by on Mar 15, 2015
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Once again animals and ancient heroes come to life. This time at the British Museum! Check out Kidzworld’s Blu-ray review of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

By: Lynn Barker

Museum night guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is running the “Night Program” at his Natural History Museum but when things go wonky during a big performance to impress donors, he learns that his nocturnal pals will all turn back into wax/stone because the magical tablet of Ahkmenrah is losing its power.

Caveman Laa (Ben Stiller) likes Tilly (Rebel Wilson)Caveman Laa (Ben Stiller) likes Tilly (Rebel Wilson)Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Story Goes

In 1938, in Egypt, the young son of the lead archeologist at a dig, falls through a hole leading his father and the others to the tablet of Ahkmenrah. Locals warn that the tablet will bring “the end”.

In present day New York City, Larry Daley(Ben Stiller) is ramrodding a nighttime event with his fave pals Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Attila the Hun, Sacagawea, Dexter the Monkey and Rexy the T-Rex skeleton. Of course the audience thinks Larry is just a master of special visual effects and no magic is involved. When everything goes wonky with the “exhibits” going “mad” Larry is blamed and learns this is all due to the magical tablet of Ahkmenrah losing its power. The curse actually meant the end of its magic will come and it’s happening.

Larry and Teddy worry that the tablet is destroyedLarry and Teddy worry that the tablet is destroyedCourtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Taking off for The British Museum with his teen son Nicky in the hope that Ahkmenrah’s parents on exhibit there can “fix” the tablet, Larry is followed by some of the gang as well as Laa (also Ben Stiller) a Neanderthal modeled in his image from one of the exhibits. After security guard Tilly (the hilarious Rebel Wilson from Pitch Perfect) admits Larry, she starts to think something is fishy. As the tablet’s power wanes, the gang meets Sir Lancelot (cute Dan Stevens from “Downton Abbey”) who can’t find the Holy Grail so steals the tablet instead.

At the British MuseumAt the British MuseumCourtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

After many adventures fighting through various British Museum exhibits come to life, the group locates Ahkmenrah’s father and mother. Dad admits that he had the tablet made to give the family eternal life but if not exposed to Moonlight at regular intervals, it loses its power. Finally, Larry is able to expose it to moonlight and the New York exhibits are returned to life. He leaves the tablet with its Egyptian family knowing that it will be bringing the exhibits there to life.

Back in New York, the exhibits accept that they will no longer return to life but three years later, a travelling version of the Egyptian exhibit visits the museum with the tablet and for a while, the exhibits get to party hearty!  

Larry and Tilly move an exhibitLarry and Tilly move an exhibitCourtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Special Features

This Blu-ray/DVD set is loaded with extras!  In fact, this is the rare time when some of the extras are better than the actual movie!

  • Deleted/Extended Scenes – Quite a few but some are quite long and we can see why they were omitted.
  • The Comedy of Night at the Museum – This is the closest thing to a Blooper or Gag reel that we get. All the cast members are encouraged by director Shawn Levy to try various joke lines for every take. Some are really funny, others, not so much but, overall, quite a funny extra. It’s fun to see that dramatic actor Dan Stevens can be pretty hilarious.
  • The Theory of Relativity – a very detailed “How’d they do that?” featurette on the amazing chase through a multi-level Escher painting. The action is created on a tiny model, then the actors performed against a green screen set. Quite complicated but interesting.
  • Becoming Laa – This extra features Ben Stiller’s other character in the film, the Neanderthal man Laa. We see that silly director Shawn dressed up as Laa for Ben so that he’d have someone to act opposite. Kinda fun.

Director Shawn Levy with Robin WilliamsDirector Shawn Levy with Robin WilliamsCourtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • A Day in the Afterlife – The actor playing young Ahkmenrah has a “buddy” who is a mummy who wants to be in the film. This is actually a very long “skit” and it seems that it is again director Shawn Levy dressed as the mummy as he messes up takes and keeps bugging the cast behind the scenes. This is simply NOT as funny as they hoped it would be, just silly.
  • The Home of History: Behind the Scenes at the British Museum – This is an amazing extra! We see all the actual locales inside the museum where the film was shot while getting a “you are there” tour of all the various eras and details of the objects and exhibits displayed there while experts clue us in. This is like a personal tour and it’s super interesting. Be sure to watch this one!
  • Fight at the Museum – breaks apart the fun scene in which Larry and Lancelot fight a giant 9-headed snake demon. The two actors did their own stunts and we see all the on-set action. Very interesting.

Lancelot (Dan Stevens) with Larry (Ben Stiller)Lancelot (Dan Stevens) with Larry (Ben Stiller)Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Creating the Visual Effects – is a wordless, short display of many of the CGI-added critters and action. Nice to watch these creations take shape layer after layer.
  • Audio Commentary with Director Shawn Levy – This director loves to talk and it’s evident here. He does give us a load of behind-the-scenes info and tidbits throughout the film. Worth watching after you’ve seen the film once first.

The night museum show starts to go wrongThe night museum show starts to go wrongCourtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Wrapping Up 

This is the last of these “Museum” films and might have done better taking a more heartfelt, final act approach. Although a lot of the intended comedy in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb falls flat, the effects making the exhibits come to life are very well done and it’s a visual feast to watch just what is coming at you next. You wish that the funny and witty Rebel Wilson were used more.

The gang hits the streets of LondonThe gang hits the streets of LondonCourtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

This is great comic Robin Williams’ last performance and he gets a few nice moments, although his Teddy Roosevelt is just along for the ride for too much of the film. The movie is dedicated to him “For Robin Williams. Magic never dies”. Classic actor Mickey Rooney, who appears briefly in a wheelchair, has also since died and there is a nod to him as well.

I would give the movie 3 stars but, because of the extensive extra features on this set with only one real “dud” in the bunch, we will go 4.

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Blu-ray Rating:4

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Blu-rayNight At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Blu-rayCourtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb is now available on Blu-ray + DVD!