January 11, 2015
The ancient Egyptian tablet that gives life to the exhibits of the Museum of Natural History in New York is strangely getting corroded. This causes the all the living exhibit friends to act erratically. Only Ahkmenrah's father, the Pharaoh Merenkahre, would know how to fix the problem, but he is in the British Museum in London. So security guard Larry Daley has to go there and get the tablet fixed before the magic is lost forever.
Ben Stiller's character Larry does not get many big comic moments as he mainly gives way to his co-actors to shine. Larry is having issues that his son Nick had unconventional career plans. Stiller does get to do a new role here, that of a new wax model of a Neanderthal man Laa, who was made in Larry's likeness. Unfortunately many of the side-by-side moments between Larry and Laa were hit and miss. Many of these jokes fell flat, with the best parts already shown in the trailer.
It was very good to see the old friends we have known and enjoyed in the first two films together again in this concluding episode. These were Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Pharaoh Akhmenrah (Rami Malek), Roman officer Octavius (Steve Coogan), cowboy Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Dexter the capuchin monkey, Attila the Hun, Sacajawea, Rexy the T-Rex skeleton, among others. We also get to see again Dick van Dyke and the late Mickey Rooney who played rival security guards in the first film.
When they reach the British Museum, the tablet brings the exhibits there to life. New friends are introduced and more madcap adventures ensue. Aside from the old Pharaoh played by Ben Kingsley, we meet two more important side characters. Rebel Wilson plays female security guard Tilly and she was usually funny. The swashbuckling action of this film was provided by Sir Lancelot, as played by the dashing Dan Stevens. His scene fighting with the Triceratops skeleton was thrillingly choreographed and executed. His scenes with "King Arthur" (played by a special uncredited A-list guest star) and those on the rooftop with the melting nose were hilarious.
The third act was strangely downbeat for an adventure-comedy film like this. But it has a special sentimental appeal because of the emotional valedictory words delivered by the late beloved actor, Robin Williams. It was not merely Roosevelt saying goodbye to Larry. It felt as if Williams was bidding us (the audience) his farewell. For that special moment alone, this becomes a must-watch for all Robin Williams fans, as this is already his final onscreen appearance in a film. 6/10.