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Latest 'Night at the Museum' installment entertains

Mizuo Peck, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Rami Malek

Mizuo Peck, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Rami Malek and Patrick Gallagher appear in a scene from "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb." Photo Credit: Kerry Brown

A glossy piece of manufactured comedy and light action to escape with for an hour and a half, the third installment of Ben Stiller's innocuous "Night at the Museum" series, "Secret of the Tomb," is successful in being a safe holiday film for the family.

Stiller's Larry Daley is back, organizing a huge public event at the American Museum of Natural History where his "special effects" -- the exhibits that come to life at night -- are the star attraction of the evening. But the magical Egyptian gewgaw that brings them to life, The Tablet of Ahkmenrah, is on the fritz and the animated exhibits are going haywire, causing chaos, especially when the T-Rex bones enter the fray.

It seems the tablet is dying and Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) says only his dad knows the secret to healing it. Problem is, his parent's mummies are on display at the British Museum. So it's off to London for Larry and his crew: Ahkmenrah, Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams, in his last live action role), cowboy Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Roman soldier Octavius (Steve Coogan), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher), Sacagawea (Mizuo Peck), Dexter the Capuchin monkey, Larry's son Nicky (Skyler Giscondo) and Laa, a new Neanderthal that looks like Larry (and played by Stiller).

Their time in London is pretty much in tune with the comedic adventures in the other films, with lots and lots of gags, many recycled from the first two films. They also run into some new characters, most notably Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) and security guard Mindy (Rebel Wilson, doing her usual shtick). There is one seriously inspired scene in the film with an MC Escher drawing that might be worth the price of admission itself.

Directed by Shawn Levy
Starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson
Rated PG


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