Ben Stiller gets a chance to run around a lot in this near-miss of a movie that is heavy on the visual splendor but light on substance. Yes, its a kids movie, but that doesnt mean it has to be utterly banal. Director Shawn Levy, who piloted such dull hits as The Pink Panther and Cheaper by the Dozen, has a great premise but basically goes nowhere with it. Stillers character gets an overnight security job at The Museum of Natural History, where everything comes to life at night. This leads to some neat stuff, like a T-Rex skeleton drinking at a water fountain and the Teddy Roosevelt statue coming to life in the form of Robin Williams. But once the visual surprise wears off, theres nothing much in the form of script and storyline. It just sort of sits there. It is cool to see the likes of Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney as angry security guards. Rooney has turned into one rabid little fuzzball.
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
Producer: Chris Columbus, Shawn Levy, Michael Barnathan, Thomas M. Hammel, Ira Shuman and Mark Radcliffe
Cast: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Jake Cherry, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Patrick Gallagher, Kim Raver, Paul Rudd, Rami Malek, Pierfrancesco Favino, Charlie Murphy, Mizuo Peck, Lou Torres, Martin Christopher and Anne Meara