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Movie Review

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb also known as “Night at the Museum 3”

MPAA Rating: PG for mild action, some rude humor and brief language.

Reviewed by: Leah Hickman
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Teens Family Adults
Genre:
Family Fantasy Comedy Adventure Sequel
Length:
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
2014
USA Release:
December 19, 2014 (wide—3,700+ theaters)
DVD: March 10, 2015
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Egypt in the Bible

tombs in the Bible

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Family Answers HOME page
Parenting and family Q&As
Homosexual overtones in movies

GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.

What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer

Featuring: Robin WilliamsTeddy Roosevelt
Ben StillerLarry Daley
Owen WilsonJedediah
Rebel Wilson … Tilly
Ben KingsleyActor
Mickey RooneyGus
Steve CooganOctavius
Ricky GervaisDr. McPhee
Dan Stevens … Sir Lancelot
Rami Malek … Ahkmenrah
Dick Van Dyke … Cecil
Rachael Harris … Madeline Phelps
Mizuo Peck … Sacajawea
more »
Director: Shawn Levy
Producer: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
21 Laps Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

“One final night to save the day”

Prequels:
• “Night at the Museum” (2006)
• “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” (2009)

All seems well at the Museum of Natural History in New York. The place buzzes with excitement as Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), the museum’s night guard, preps for the grand opening of the planetarium exposition at the museum. Thanks to the help of his friends—the wax figurines of Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Sacajawea, and others that come to life at night because of the magical tablet of Ahkmenrah—it looks like the evening is going to be a success. That is, until every exhibit in the museum starts going nuts. The life-like constellations from the new planetarium start attacking the visiting VIPs, Teddy Roosevelt aims his gun at someone’s head, and all of the animals wreak havoc among the banquet tables, as frightened visitors run from the building. A night with so much promise ends in disaster. When it’s all over, Teddy and the other exhibits have no memory of what they did.

As Larry soon discovers, the magical malfunction is linked to corrosion that has been slowly spreading over Ahkmenrah’s golden tablet. If Larry and his friends don’t figure out how to stop the corrosion, soon the entire tablet will be useless, and its magic will end. No more magic, no more living exhibits. Without the magic, Teddy, Sacajawea, Octavius, Jed and the others will be silent and still forever. Not even Ahkmenrah himself, however, knows the cause of the corrosion or how to repair the tablet. He does know one person who would have the answers they are looking for, though: his father, the pharaoh Merenkahre. But he just happens to be on display at the British Museum in London.

Undaunted by the distance and determined to save their friends, Larry and his son Nick (Skylar Gisondo) take the tablet to England, bringing the whole team with them, and set out to learn the secret of the tomb.

Despite its simplistic and somewhat clichéd plot, “Night at the Museum 3” is an exciting flick for the whole family, filled with laughs, imagination, and kid-friendly adventures. While its biggest attraction is the clean comedy, this film also touches on important themes of friendship, fatherhood, and loyalty. I especially appreciated the movie’s depiction of the relationship between Larry and his son, Nick. Unlike most on-screen parent-child relationships, Larry and Nick are shown communicating in a mature and level-headed manner. Their conversations do not involve yelling, slamming doors, and raised tempers, but instead display an unprecedented level of clear communication and mutual respect.

In general, Larry seem to follow the command of Ephesians 6:4, which says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children.” He does this by treating his son as an adult and as an individual, rather than belittling him and his desires. Throughout the film, he also learns to value the time he gets to spend with his son and to recognize what a blessing Nick is in his life. In addition, Nick generally shows honor to his father, conforming to God’s command in verses one through three.

Near the beginning of the movie, however, Nick disrespects his father by throwing a dance party in their apartment while Larry is gone. Like any teen party, the scene has its share of loud music and red Solo cups, but the camera shows no underdressed girls, no couples making out, and no inappropriate dancing—keeping the film “PG”.

A few other “PG” moments involving dancing include a scene in which Dick Van Dyke’s character busts some moves in the nursing home with a group of old ladies and a closing scene in which all the characters break out their best moves. In this scene, one couple is shown slow dancing. While discussing Van Dyke’s character with Larry, an elderly employee at the museum says that “Cecil Fredericks was the sexiest night guard we’ve ever had—present company excluded.”

In some of the other more risqué moments of the film, a Neanderthal and another character kiss, Ahkmenrah’s mother wears a low-cut dress, a few statues of scantily-clad ancients make an appearance, and Larry affectionately kisses the capuchin monkey. Although surprisingly minimal, toilet humor also makes an appearance. A character is nearly hit in the crotch several times, Dexter the monkey is shown peeing on two occasions, and a new character mentions that her boyfriend thinks her hair-do looks like “golden pooh sitting on [her] shoulder.”

Compared to the previous two films, this third installment of the “Night at the Museum” franchise has much less destruction and violence, although kids looking for a bit of action will not be disappointed. We witness an armored knight dueling the live skeleton of a triceratops and, later, three characters battling a “mythical snake demon” that has come to life.

Although the destruction is not nearly as debilitating as in “Night at the Museum 2,” this movie has its share of out-of-control museum exhibits and broken glass. Defibrillators make appearances throughout the film, and a couple characters (both good and bad) are shown being electrocuted, although the good character doesn’t seem to suffer much damage from the event. In addition, the miniature characters, Octavius and Jed, find themselves in a number of perilous situations, one of which involves lava and a miniature volcano.

The film also includes some scenes that, although they do not fit the category of “violent,” certainly should be classified as “slightly disturbing.” In one scene, a paranoid man aggressively grabs a young boy, prophesying that “the end will come.” Later, a character eats packing peanuts and, in a different scene, another character promises that “someday, we will drink dragon’s blood together.” A boy is held captive with a knife blade at his throat, and an Egyptian promises to bury another character with honors, assuring the character that he will have all his organs removed and put in separate containers. In addition, a wax character’s nose begins to melt, creating a comical (and somewhat gruesome) effect, while another character’s face begins to deteriorate as a result of the tablet’s gradual loss of power, resulting in a deathly and frightening sight.

Although I did not catch any misuses of the Lord’s name, “d***” is used once and “h***” is used three times. One character exclaims, “where the devil,” and several characters use the words “heck,” “dang,” and “gosh.” While the Christian God is never explicitly mentioned, several characters discuss “gods,” in one scene. When Merenkahre asserts that he is descended from Rah and that the Egyptian gods are the only true gods, Larry tells him that he tries to be open-minded, mentioning his own Jewish heritage while also affirming that Attila the Hun and Sacagawea both worship different gods, as well.

The whole concept of the magical Egyptian tablet also brings up some spiritual topics. Although they are not all in accordance with biblical Christianity, these references to religion and spirituality can serve as discussion starters for families viewing this film.

Overall, I enjoyed “Night at the Museum 3.” The humor is generally very tasteful, and I found the depictions of friend and family relationships to be very refreshing. For some families, it may not be worth seeing in theaters, but I recommend renting it. Most will enjoy this final trip to the museum where history comes to life—literally.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie is more than just a sequel. It’s on a par with the original, and better than the second, being mostly free of Ben Stiller’s slapfests and annoyingly endless arguments. It is also free of profanity or sexual references. What it has, is all the excellent CGI and cinematography you expect, plus an exciting script that pushes the strength of family, love and sacrifice for your neighbours, and religious freedom. The latter is in a hilarious little dialogue between a modern Jew and an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. Hugh Jackman has a long, but equally funny cameo appearance.

Finally, if you are a student of movies, this one cannot be missed for the final performances of both Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams. As the rising sun ended the magic and Teddy Roosevelt said his last word, I had to hold back a tear—for a little of the magic truly ended.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brian Schacht, age 68 (Canada)
Positive—Verdict: “Secret of the Tomb” is a terrific final chapter in this family-friendly franchise! As in the previous movies, the acting is superb, with standout performances from Ben Stiller, newcomer Dan Stevens and the late Robin Williams. The effects are top notch and, at times, create eye-popping scenes. The plot is interesting, creative and gripping. Though not as laugh-out-loud funny as the first two installments, there are still quite a few hilarious moments. Jed and Octavious are a hoot. Stevens brings some energetic comedy to his character Sir Lancelot.

The topic of religious freedom is touched upon in a humorous way, that I think Christians will appreciate. There is an overarching sense of finality to this movie, and the last ten-to fifteen minutes or so really produce some tear-jerking moments. Larry’s goodbye scene with Teddy brings with it some unexpected poignancy, due to Robin Williams passing earlier this year. The filmmakers took great care and time for the character sendoffs, and it showed. This is a must-see for fans of Robin Williams and the NATM franchise.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Nathaniel Taylor, age 18 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—From a Christian perspective, one thing I should mention is that, for the first time I remember in the trilogy, the characters clearly attribute the magic to a pagan source (the “moon god”). However, ***SPOILER*** to charge the magical tablet, the only thing required was to hold the tablet in the moonlight. Perhaps you could think of it as a lunar-powered fantasy technology that characters attribute to pagan mythology, even if it isn’t really pagan. ***END SPOILER*** But some Christians may feel that’s too much of a stretch, and I could understand either side.

From an entertainment perspective, this is a very humorous movie. Some may think it crosses the line into silly territory, especially compared to the dry humor of the second installment, but I enjoy somewhat offbeat humor, so for me it was funny. As with the previous movies, there isn’t a lot of plot or character development, but the action and humor keep it entertaining to watch.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Samuel Chetty, age 22 (USA)
Negative
Negative— …Why is everyone ignoring the morally destructive brainwashing homosexual agenda that Hollywood has in kids’ movies now? …The Roman soldier commenting on getting lost in the ocean of Lancelot’s “deep blue eyes” in a sexually infatuated tone, and when Lancelot has his nose melted again the comments from the Roman of “he still so handsome.”

And although it seemed none sexual at the time, after having these two pieces in the movie, the Roman wanting to hold hands with the cowboy… it’s all little psychological plays by Hollywood to indoctrinate the next generation into the homosexual agenda. All you have to do is read articles from the homosexual directors and producers to know this is true. They bring in child psychiatrists and family specialist and explore how to best ease it in there. This is one of those movies.

I made the mistake of bringing my kids into it because nobody warned me here. If not I’d get it for free on DVD, edit out their agenda scenes on my computer, and then let them watch it. Just like I did with the last “How to Train a Dragon” movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chiqlin23, age 36 (USA)
Negative—I come here seeking reviews before deciding on whether to allow our children to watch a film. Seeing that it was rated with four stars and better than average moral rating, we made the mistake of going to see this. There were a few curse words scattered in (interchanged with a few hecks so I don’t know why they couldn’t have all been “heck”). The continual homosexual overtones were sickening. Why can’t Hollywood leave a children’s movie just that?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Chas., age 42 (USA)
Negative—What a waste of money this movie was to see. There were some funny parts, and some of the scenes were good, but, overall, it was boring. My four kids, ranging in ages 8 to 13, found most of the movie boring. The Roman, Octavius character has gay overtones. In one scene he wants to hold another man’s hand. At first, this seems to because the character was in peril, and it could be taken as sign of friendship with another character. Later, it is obvious that he is checking out another guy with his comments on his eyes.

I realize going into the movie that the tablet is magical and possibly created by an Egyptian god. However, when Ben Kingsely claims that he descended from the Egyptian gods, and they are the only true gods, this seems to be a slap in the face to Christians. Then Larry basically states to have an open mind about other people’s gods where all beliefs lead to the same true God which is false.

I highly suggest people to avoid this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—William, age 36 (USA)
Negative—Apart from the comments above alluding to the homosexual undertones, I found the movie blasphemous, given its culmination/quest and success in keeping Pharaoh’s first born son alive. It shows how after centuries past, God’s last plague in Egypt before the Exodus was not “effective” and Egyptian powers/magic are stronger than our Almighty God.

Now while Merenkahre and Ahkmenrah were not real historic figures, it portrays the same message, how the Egyptians “live forever,” trying to eliminate God as the true creator of the universe and man. Not coincidental that it is released around the same time as the movie “Exodus,” which includes many divergences from the Bible.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Ilkevz, age 31 (South Africa)
Negative—This movie was SO boring! Thankfully, I had my laptop to work on while we watched it at home. If I had seen this in the theater I think I would have walked out. It was just really stupid and not very funny, when I think Ben Stiller can be funny sometimes. If you want to see a really good movie he is in and is pretty clean, but full of adventure, I really liked “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. Anyhow, this museum movie was totally lame. And, of course, it had no godly characteristics, with mystical powers, and gay agendas… Jesus must be coming back, because this country is getting more like Sodom every day!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Stephanie, age 40 (USA)
Comments from young people

none

Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I’m glad that others were able to give insight into this movie’s homosexual comments. My husband and I try to keep our children from seeing movies and TV shows that promote this lifestyle. We will not be seeing this movie. What’s wrong with letting parents raise their kids the way they see fit. I don’t tell homosexuals how to raise their kids and they should respect our decision not to raise ours to believe this is ok. But, then again they don’t have to show tolerance to our beliefs, we’re just suppose to show tolerance to their beliefs. One-sided deal. Who’s rating these movies? Are they Christians? Obviously not, if they won’t call a spade a spade.
—Bobbie, age 48 (USA)

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