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Night at the Museum


Stars: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Mickey Rooney

Director: Shawn Levy

Reminiscent of Jumanji, this special effects romp is at least as much fun as you might hope. Desperate for work, divorced dad Larry (Stiller) takes on a job as night watchman at a history museum, replacing a trio of old codgers (Van Dyke, Rooney, Bill Cobbs), who leave him a strange book of rules.

Larry soon finds that, thanks to an ankh (scared symbol) on the wall behind a pharaoh's tomb, everything in the museum comes to life at night. The T Rex fetches bones like a dog, Teddy Roosevelt (Williams) charges around on his horse, Huns go on the rampage, Stone-Age men invent fire (which Larry has to put out), gladiator Coogan and wild westerner Wilson wage their own private war with thousands of miniature men and a mischievous (and rather tiresome) monkey keeps stealing Larry's keys.

The curator (Gervais) is not amused at the chaos Larry leaves in his wake, and the new night watchman decides to invite the girl he fancies (Gugino) and his 10-year-old son to visit while he still has the job. Alas, plans are afoot to steal the ankh.

Lots of jolly chuckles here (if not many big laughs), as the fun gallops along like Teddy's horse (or the T Rex after its bone). Junior schoolers of all ages should enjoy it.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Technicolor.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Dec 2006