Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Malam Di Muzium

The critics almost panned this movie and the average rating hovers around a 'C'. Ok, so it's not Stiller's best work (I can't decide between Zoolander and Starsky & Hutch) but I stand my ground when I say 'Night At The Museum' is one of the better movies I've seen in a long time.
The Village People hoped the new line-up would create a more diverse fan base

In all honesty, the movie poster alone was enough to get me curious: A security guard standing in a museum hallway and a T-Rex peering from above along with a bunch of other historical figures (Robin Williams was unmistakable though). I knew we were looking at something along the lines of 'Jumanji' and some fantasy brain candy - which is exactly what I wanted.
"I think your uniform is so much hotter than mine...And I don't even get a horse!"

So Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley - a sorta-loser who can't keep a job, divorced with a 10-year old son who just 'can't take another disappointment'. Enter job at the museum. Desperate Larry takes it and voila! The magic begins. Turns out the museum comes alive every night due to an ancient Egyptian curse found on a golden plate located within the museum grounds. Larry's job? To make sure everything's in order each night and nothing/no one gets out (sunlight turns them into dust apparently).
"My, how waxy your hands are..."

Sounds basic except it gets quite interesting when this involves entertaining a T-Rex that likes to play fetch and handling a bunch of miniature cowboys (headed by the excellent Owen Wilson who has a serious tiny-man self-esteem problem) and Roman soldiers who can't seem to get along. Oh and dodging Attila the Hun who keeps hunting Larry down so he can tear him limb from limb.

All in a day's work, eh?

The plot thickens (it had better. Digital animation can get you so far...) when the older night guards (Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke and Bill Cobbs are pretty springy for their age) rob the museum. Or should I say attempt to. Yep, you guessed it, Larry to the rescue. With the help of his newfound museum pals, the last 20 minutes of the movie becomes a full-flung adventure. Fantastic animation and I love how the 'miniatures' get over-melodramatic. There's even an Armageddon-like scene at the end where Owen and Roman dude walk up the stairs in slow-mo.

"Ok children, stand back. The wax figures are about to come alive!" - Carla Gugino as the sexy and brainy museum guide person thingy.

All in all, the movie kept me fascinated the whole time and there were plenty of laughs. What can I say: Simple pleasures for a simple mind. I'm hardly in the mood for cry-me-a-river dramas or secret agent stories with 25 plots unravelled every 10 minutes. Give me Ben Stiller, a dose of Robin Williams, 2 inches of Owen Wilson (wait a minute...) and a bunch of historical characters come alive - I'm one happy cat.

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