I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoy my fair share of brainless comedies. That being said, I should be a huge Ben Stiller fan, however for some mysterious reason, that has not always been the case. When I saw the previews for Night at the Museum, I was mildly interested but not jumping out of my seat to go rent it.
In this fantasy comedy, we find Stiller as a divorced father that is a bit down on his luck in the job department. Fearing losing his shared custody time with his son because of his instability, he somewhat reluctantly takes a job as a night watchman at New York's Museum of Natural History. Little does he realize that the job is as much to keep people out as it is to keep the museum's occupants in. As night falls, a mystical Egyptian tablet brings to life the dioramas, causing Mayans, Romans, Gladiators and cowboys to emerge, not to mention an incredibly large and full-of-energy T-Rex.
With an incredible cast in addition to Stiller that includes the likes of Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney (to name a few) the entertainment is as lively as the inhabitants themselves. The story does a solid job of holding it's own and the combination of action and shtick comedy keep the story moving right along at a solid pace.
At the end of the day, I actually thoroughly enjoyed this movie and have since watched it several more times, enjoying it more with every viewing. They managed to even make learning a little bit of history along the way a lot of fun... Who knows, maybe it will actually entice some of the youngsters to get more involved in learning a bit more about history and visit a museum instead of just watching it on the screen.