Follow us on

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

April 5th, 2015

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is the third film, and likely final film, in the Night at the Museum franchise. The previous two films were very profitable, but the films have never really won over critics. This film had the weakest run at the box office, but is it also the weakest in terms of quality?

The Movie

The film begins in 1938 in Egypt during an archaeological dig. The head archaeologist is having trouble finding the tomb of Ahkmenrah when his son accidentally stumbles into it. While removing the artifacts, one of the Egyptians warns them that if the disturb the tomb, "the end will come".

Flash forward to modern day and Larry Daley is getting ready for the new opening of their nighttime exhibit. Since it would be nearly impossible to keep the magic secret, they've done the next best thing, pretend it is all animatronics. While getting ready for the show, and just before he meets his neanderthal doppelganger, Laaa, Ahkmenrah asks to speak with Larry. It seems the Tablet that gives the exhibits life has become corroded and he doesn't know why. He father was the one who knew how it worked. The corrosion seems to be weakening the magic and this in turn causes the exhibits to act erratically, to put it mildly. When Larry gets home, he finds his son, Nicky throwing a big party. Nicky thinks this is a good time to tell his dad he's not going to college, at least not for a year. It's not been a good night.

The next day, Larry begins researching the tablet and spots a picture that includes the archaeologist and his son. He learns from the archivist, Rose, that the little boy used to work at the museum as a night guard. C.J. Fredericks, a.k.a. Cecil Fredericks. Larry visits Cecil in the retirement home, and sees Gus and Reginald. Cecil explains what the locals said and now he understands. When the locals said "the end will come", they were not talking about the end of the world, but the end of the magic. He also mentions that the original archaeological expedition was a joint expedition between the U.K. and the U.S. and half of the artifacts, including Ahkmenrah's parents, went to London.

With that information, Larry convinces Dr. McPhee to let him take the tablet and Ahkmenrah to London to get checked out by their conservation department. But of course this is just so he can bring it to Merenkahre, to see if he can fix it. While in London, he meets Tilly, the night guard for the British Museum.

It seems like a simple plan that should have no unexpected consequences. Except Teddy Roosevelt decided to come along. As did Attila, Sacajawea, Jedediah, Octavius, and Laaa.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is one of those movies that's really hard to review, because it is a big pile of "meh". It isn't good, but it isn't that bad either. It is so solidly average that it is hard to get motivated to say anything about it. I felt too many of the jokes failed to find their mark; the majority of jokes failed to hit their mark. ... Everything with Laaa failed to hit the mark. Granted, it is aimed at families, so I'm sure kids will like the humor more than I did, but personally I don't think many adults watching the film with them will laugh a lot. The action scenes were better, but I did get a sense of déjà vu from the previous installments. Worse still, they lacked the energy and the enthusiasm of the earlier films.

That said, I still think it will entertain kids.

The Extras

Extras begin with an audio commentary track with Shawn Levy, the director. Up next are 14 minutes of deleted scenes. There are several featurettes, starting with Improv, Absurdity and Cracking Up, an 8-minute look at the environment on the set. The Theory of Relativety is a 12-minute look at the making of the M.C. Escher set piece. Becoming Laaa is a seven-minute look at the process needed to create Laaa. A Day in the Afterlife is a 16-minute faux-featurette about having real Mummies as part of the cast. The joke isn't strong enough to last six minutes, never mind 16 minutes. Home of History is a 21-minute behind-the-scenes look at the British Museum. Fight at the Museum is a six-minute making of featurette that focuses on one of the set pieces / action scenes. Finally there is Creating the Visual Effects, a three-minute look at the special effects. You certainly can't complain about the number of extras on the Blu-ray.

The technical presentation is great, for the most part. There were times some of the characters looked a little... jaundiced. It is just something I noticed from time-to-time, but not something that was really distracting. Otherwise, the level of detail was strong and there were strong colors and deep shadows. The audio was better than the video with no noticeable issues. The 7.1 surround sound track had plenty of activity, including numerous dynamic effects.

The Blu-ray combo pack costs just $13 on Amazon.com at the moment, which is a great deal. The DVD is also incredibly cheap at just $10, but I certainly think spending the extra $3 is worth it for the Blu-ray Combo Pack.

The Verdict

If your kids like the franchise, the Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is worth picking up on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. However, it won't appeal to adults.


- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Night at the Museum, Robin Williams, Bill Cobbs, Steve Coogan, Patrick Gallagher, Ricky Gervais, Ben Kingsley, Shawn Levy, Rami Malek, Andrea Martin, Mizuo Peck, Mickey Rooney, Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, Owen Wilson, Skyler Gisondo, Rebel Wilson