3 out of 5 stars (average)
Larry Daley (played by Ben Stiller) is a down-on-his-luck guy who does not have a good life going. He is divorced, his ex-wife thinks he doesn’t have enough time for his son, and he is jobless. When his 10-year-old son Nick neglects to invite him to Career Day at school, Larry decides to get a job. Larry goes to a job office and is told to go to the Museum of Natural History.
Once at the museum, Larry meets past security guards Cecil (Dick Van Dike), Gus (Mickey Rooney), and Reginald (Bill Cobbs). The only reason he is getting this job is that these guys are getting fired. Cecil gives Larry his flashlight, belt, and handbook. He also warns Larry that he might want to put a few lights on at night so it doesn’t seem spooky. Larry then briefly meets the crazy museum director, Dr. McPhee and Rebecca, the cute lady at the counter.
That night, Larry learns that everything in the museum comes to life at night including a huge T-Rex and a wax statue of Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams, “RV”) who becomes his friend. Teddy starts to help Larry get used to the museum’s strange going ons. If you’ve seen the previews you already know that the things in the museum come alive, but there’s more to it than that, and you’ll have to see it to believe it!
I liked that this movie used a lot of funny actors, like Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, Robin Williams, and Owen Wilson. Some small children may not understand the beginning, but they’ll get it with a little help from their parental units. My mom says that kids may not understand it, but they’ll still laugh at the funny scenes, especially when Larry gets bitten, urinated on, and punched by a monkey.
Rated PG for mild action, language and brief rude humor.