Screen Talk: Night at the Museum 3 Review

Hey guys. Hope you’re all good.

So, Night at the Museum 3.

Having already seen the start of this movie, I watched the rest of it in the early hours of this morning.

I wouldn’t say I was particularly excited about seeing the third installment in this series? Franchise? but I did want to watch it since I enjoyed the other two. I saw them in the cinema with one of my brothers. As far as I know, he liked them too.

The third film was not bad at all. Overall, I enjoyed watching it.

FYI, If you read on, be wary of spoilers!


The movie starts off in Egypt with a team of archaeologists searching a tomb for a priceless artifact, the tablet of Ahkmenrah. However, it’s a kid falling through a hole that leads his dad and some others, when they come to get him, to finding the tablet. The archaeologists want to take it but are warned that if they do ‘the end will come’.

And this sets up the movie. Not bad as far as set ups go.

Earlier on in the series, we learnt that the tablet is the reason we see the exhibits at the Museum of Natural History come to life at night and that without it, they become… well what museum exhibits actually are. Lifeless.

Early on in the third film, the main protagonist (the good guy) of the three movies, Ben Stiller”s character, Larry Daley, discovers that the tablet has begun to corrode. And things rarely go smoothly for the protagonist do they? Just ask any fictional protagonist in any book, movie, film etc ever.

Here’s hoping you can ask that question of my protagonist one of these days. She’s going through some rough times right now.

But the character’s struggles make for compelling and engaging viewing/reading.

As for Larry’s struggles, in Night at the Museum 3, they begin in the form of confusion when, during an event he’s overseeing at the Museum of Natural History, the featured exhibits (Roosevelt, Sacajawea, Atilla the Hun, Rexy the T-Rex skeleton and Dexter, the capuchin monkey), go suddenly haywire, making the attendees flee in alarm. This confuses both Larry and the exhibits themselves when they recover. They learn that their behaviour was due to the corroding tablet.

Larry, still a single dad, also has trouble with his now teenage son, Nick. Namely he finds it hard to deal with the fact that his son’s growing up and the concept of ‘letting go’.

With regards to the bizarre behaviour of the exhibits and the corroding tablet, Larry goes and does some research, finding a photograph that features the kid in the set-up of the movie. He also learns that the kid’s name is Cecil Fredericks, an antagonist (the bad guy) of the second film. Larry goes to visit him in the retirement home he’s in and finds out that ‘the end will come’ (again from the set-up) is not a reference to the end of the world but an end to the magic that brings the exhibits to life. Fredericks suggests that Larry visits the parents of Pharaoh Ahkmenrah who are displayed in the British Museum to find out more about the tablet.

So Larry does just that.

Upon arriving in London under the pretence of making a delivery from New York, he encounters Tilly, the security guard of the British Museum.

Larry, with Nick hidden in the back of his truck, talks his way into the museum with some help from a phone call from Dr. McPhee (who has been fired due to the catastrophic event where the exhibits went haywire but Tilly doesn’t know this when she phones him and he confirms Larry’s delivery.)

Once inside the museum, Larry discovers that, alongside Pharaoh Ahkmenrah, Roosevelt, Sacajawea, Dexter, Atilla, Jedediah (the mini cowboy figure), Octavius (the mini Roman soldier figure) and Laa (a wax figure Neanderthal that McPhee designed to look like Larry) have come along from New York too, unknown by Larry.

As the lot of them (minus Laa who Larry has guard the entrance) begin making their way towards the Egyptian exhibit to find Ahkmenrah’s parents, they get into some scrapes with some of the British museum exhibits that the tablet also brings to life. Jed and Octavius get split off from the others and Dexter is sent to rescue them.

Speaking of rescuing, when Larry and the others (now without Jed, Octavius and Dexter) find themselves being chased by a triceratops skeleton, they are rescued by a knight who is revealed to be Lancelot. And Lancelot, believing it to be the duty of a knight, then accompanies the others on their way through the museum.

As they go through more exhibits, Ahkmenrah, Roosevelt, Atilla and the figures display signs of the magic running out, of them becoming weak as they start to return to being wax and lifeless. Also Lancelot is seen speaking to Nick and telling him about something like how a man does what feels right to him and not to let someone else stop him going after what he wants. Larry, who has voiced his dislike of Nick not having a plan about what he wants to do with his life, overhears this. This is related to the whole ‘letting go’ thing. Oh and Dexter rescues Jeb and Octavius.

Eventually the group makes it to the Egypt exhibit where Ahkmenrah meets his parents who are glad to see him. Ahkmenrah’s father, Merenkahre, reveals that the tablet was made as a gift for his son and that it needs moonlight to power its magic.

Larry and Nick hasten towards a part of the museum where moonlight is streaming in. But before Larry can adjust the tablet, Lancelot appears with a blade held to Nick’s neck. I wondered if he was bad but he’s not really bad. Nevertheless he takes the tablet (which Larry has already revealed to him is magic) and leaves to find Guinevere (tie-in with the Arthurian legend).

Then the story becomes about getting the tablet back with Larry telling Laa to keep Tilly (who had been asleep while all this was going on bit had woken to find Laa at the entrance to the museum and was then shut in her own office), in her office. This makes for some comedic comments as Tilly and Laa start to develop a ‘connection’ I guess you could call it.

Meanwhile Lancelot makes his way to a local theater where a performance of King Arthur is going on. Lancelot, thinking that Arthur and Guinevere on stage are the real ones, discovers they are ,in fact, actors and that the whole thing isn’t real. This causes him to ruin the set and the audience to flee and here we also see Hugh Jackman, who is playing Arthur reveal that he is Hugh Jackman the actor, not Arthur, and he does a Wolverine growl, confusing Lancelot who then hastens away, onto the roof.

Larry, Nick and the wax figures accompanying them, find him there after Larry tells Hugh Jackman that he’s ‘the whole package’. L-o-l.

Lancelot is going through the whole ‘I can’t believe I’m not the real Lancelot and am instead a wax figure’ thing that we saw Roosevelt go through in the first film. It’s kind of like Buzz from Toy Story going through the whole ‘I can’t believe I’m a toy and not the real Buzz Lightyear’ thing.

After Larry is unable to convince Lancelot to give him back the tablet, time runs out for the New York wax figures and they become lifeless. This makes for some sombre viewing. But it leads Lancelot to realise what he has been responsible for. Unless I’m missing something, I don’t get why Lancelot didn’t become lifeless like the others.

But anyway. Lancelot gives Larry the tablet who adjusts it under the moonlight and this leads to the exhibits coming back to life. Happiness all round. And Lancelot seems to have become okay with being a wax figure.

Back in the Egypt exhibit, Roosevelt tells Larry that he and the other New York exhibits have decided that the tablet should remain with the pharaohs in the British Museum and that the New York exhibits will be returning to New York. Even though this will mean they will become lifeless for good. Larry reluctantly agrees. On his way out of the museum, he witnesses a romantic occurrence between Laa and Tilly.

In New York, in the Natural Museum of History, we see Larry say goodbye to some of the exhibits. More sombreness here. And it’s followed by a scene with Larry and Nick in which Larry seems to be trying to accept that his son’s growing up.

The film continues 3 years later. We hear an exchange between Dr. McPhee (who has been rehired after Larry took the blame for the exhibits going haywire) and Tilly who has come to the New York since the New York museum is displaying exhibits from the British museum for a limited time. We learn from them that Larry left his job at the museum and went on to become a teacher.

Along with the British exhibits, the tablet has also come to New York. Which means that the New York exhibits have come back to life. Tilly, who has clearly in the three years gone by, become accustomed to the tablet and what it does, shows a disbelieving and astounded McPhee, the effects of the tablet i.e. the British and New York exhibits partying in one of the museum’s halls.

There’s an awesome scene at the end of the film where Tilly and Laa see each other. Tilly runs into Laa’s arms and he holds her up- Dirty Dancing style- with the Dirty Dancing song in the background. So funny.

Larry is seen sitting outside the museum, staring up at it. That’s where the movie ends.

Notable Cast Performances (in no specific order)

  • Ben Stiller – still good as Larry.
  • Robin Williams – great as Roosevelt. Great as always, since my childhood. RIP.
  • Rebel Wilson – played Tilly awesomely. Such a good actress and really funny.
  • Ricky Gervais – good as Dr. McPhee. Didn’t really think much of his character and his character was- I suppose purposefully?- annoying ’til the end. He was likeable at the end.
  • Hugh Jackman – good cameo by him. It was cool to work the Wolverine bit in.
  • Dan Stevens – played the ‘I’m a good guy but I could be a bad guy but ultimately I’m a good guy’ role and played Lancelot well.


Family. Fantasy. Comedy. Adventure.

Let Downs

I liked the character of Sacajawea but we saw nothing significant from her in this film. It was a shame.

Favourite Character


Movie Stealing Performance

Rebel Wilson. She was really good. Looking forward to seeing more of her.


1 star – Awful / 2 stars – Bad / 3 stars – Okay / 4 stars – Good / 5 stars – Awesome

For the genre/s, this film is in, I’ll give it a 4/5.

Recommended? Yep. I think this is a good film to watch with the family or simply if you’re in the mood to watch a fantasy type film on your own.

Final Thoughts

This has been a good trilogy of films, starting way back in 2006. I think this might’ve been the end. If it was, it was a good ending. Although I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a Night at the Museum 4 with Rebel Wilson being the protagonist. Maybe she could even team up with Ben Stiller. Their little exchanges in this film weren’t bad.

And… I’m done.

Until next time,




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