Movie Review: Night at the Museum (2006)

Solid family fare that edifies, inspires, and entertains 7.5/10

Night_MuseumNever a huge Ben Stiller fan, I was pleasantly surprised after picking Night at the Museum out of the Netflix mailer and firing it up on the DVD player.  It’s a story about a fellah in a busted marriage just trying to get by in the Big Apple.  Larry Daley (Stiller) has a creative, inventive orientation—he supposedly developed a light that turns on when you snap your fingers—but his inventions are always scooped, ahead of their time, or missing capital funding.  Thus he’s always running low on rent money and his ex (Kim Raver) wonders if he’s a positive influence on their boy Nick (Jake Cherry).

In the beginning of the movie, Larry drops by the plush apartment of his ex and her new fiance Don (Paul Rudd)—a techno-business geek (emphasis-added) bond trader—with whom she and Nicky live. These opening scenes are easy to dismiss because many have seen the previews and are waiting for the dinosaurs to come alive and wreak havoc at the museum; but these instances of humanity are key to story.  Stiller shows the kind-hearted angst of the aspiring father who, because of some bad breaks and naïveté, has been ejected from his son’s life and replaced by a cipher.  Rudd is perfect, too, as the shallow, good-natured stepfather to be. Continue reading