Often when you arrive at the third entry in a franchise trilogy, the entire concept has lost its polish and originality.
Secret of the Tomb once again employs Ben Stiller as night watchman Larry of the Museum of Natural History in New York. The magical tablet that brings life to the museum exhibits is beginning to corrode and lose its power. Larry, along with Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) and Jedediah (Owen Wilson), must set off to the British Museum in London to discover the secret of repairing the tablet.
The hijinks ensue when an all-new collection of exhibits gain life for the first time. An obnoxious night guard named Tilly (Rebel Wilson) and the confused exhibits prevent the team from succeeding at first, but the arrival of Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens) gives them a new ally in their mission. As he becomes haunted with his impending mortality, Lancelot steals the tablet and sets off for Camelot. Larry and the veteran exhibits must recover the tablet and return its power before all the exhibits go extinct once and for all.
While its not likely to earn critical acclaim, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is an amusing romp through cleverly crafted jokes and physical comedy. Shawn Levy shows his directing restraint by limiting cameos to value-added, spirited performances, most notably by an enthusiastic X-Man. Levy, who directed all previous films, doesn’t stray too far from the formula, which at a certain point becomes apparent and annoying, but he’s paced the film at an energetic speed and the special effects are just as awe-inspiring, resulting in an overall satisfying and worthwhile experience for families this holiday season.