Imagine walking into the world’s most magnificent museums, where the wonders and history of the world come to life in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.” That was the starting point for the Night at the Museum motion pictures, which have captivated audiences globally and grossed over one billion dollars. Now, its third instalment takes all of its beloved characters around the world for their greatest adventure yet.
Ben Stiller reprises his role as museum guard Larry Daley, and Shawn Levy is once again at the helm, producing and directing. When New York’s Natural History Museum’s exhibits, which come to life at night, start to behave strangely, Larry, the newly-promoted director of nighttime operations at the Museum, must find out why. The Tablet, which magically brings the creatures to life, has started to decay and the only way to restore it may be at the British Museum. Larry, who’ll do anything to save his museum “family,” along with his son Nick and the museum exhibits, travel from New York to London, where they must discover the Tablet’s secret.
Beloved actors/comedians Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney, who, sadly, passed away earlier this year, reprises their roles as Teddy Roosevelt and retired security night guard respectively.
“Teddy Roosevelt was an amazing naturalist, botanist, environmentalist and hunter,” noted Williams. “He had this sense of the great outdoors, that the wild environment is where you find yourself. And part of his legacy was founding the National Park System, helping get that up and running. He was, truly, an exciting man.” In the Night at the Museum films, Teddy is also a true romantic. There’s a charge between Teddy and the museum figure of Lewis and Clark’s guide and interpreter, Sacajawea. As Teddy jokes, “I’m wax, she’s polyurethane, but somehow it works.”
Joining Williams as key returnees to this world are Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan, as the surprising duo of American cowboy Jedediah and Roman Centurion Octavius, both miniatures from historic dioramas. They’re the smallest characters with the biggest friendship. Another Museum veteran, Golden Globe and Emmy winning British comedian and actor Ricky Gervais returns as McPhee, the head of the Museum and Larry’s boss.
Dan Stevens, who captivated television audiences as Matthew in the acclaimed British series “Downton Abbey,” stars as Lancelot, the epitome of chivalry, valor and bravery. Another new face is Tilly, the night guard at the British Museum. Tilly sits outside the museum, in a small guard shack, chatting on the phone and taking the occasional snooze. She longs for company and wishes she were armed with a weapon more intimidating than just a hammer.
Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley stars as Merenkahre, Ahkmenrah’s father and Pharaoh of the Nile. Merenkahre has held the secret to the Tomb for 4,000 years and only his knowledge can keep the Tablet, and the museum creatures, alive.
It’s one thing for Larry to deal with an ancient Pharaoh. It’s quite another to wrangle his teenage son. Seventeen-year old high school senior Nick Daley, played by Skyler Gisondo, is at odds with Larry. While his father wants him to go to college, Nick wants to be his own person and pursue his dream of being a deejay in far off and exotic locales. For Gisondo who was age ten when Night at the Museum came out, working on the new film was an unforgettable experience.
Another young man – this one from Ancient Egypt – gives his name to the magic tablet that brings the Museum to life. That would be Pharaoh Ahkmenrah, the young Egyptian mummy whose family holds the secret of the Tomb. Rami Malek reprises his role as Ahkmenrah. Malek notes a special highlight of coming back for the new film: “Ben Kingsley is an icon and someone I’ve admired my whole life,” he explains.
Patrick Gallagher returns as Attila, the lovable Hun. The real Attila the Hun was a badass warrior in the 4th century, and legendary for creating one of the fiercest and most-feared armies the world, or any museum corridor, has ever known. But to know our Museum’s Attila is to love him, and while Attila is the go-to guy when muscle is needed, he’s also a great big teddy bear.
Mizuo Peck returns as Sacajawea, one of the legendary women of the American West. Sacajawea was the daughter of a Shoshone chief whose skills and smarts enabled her to serve as a guide and interpreter for Lewis and Clark’s famed early 19th century expedition from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean. Renowned for her ability to lead and track, in this film her expertise and motherly advice are vital in helping Larry and the gang on their mission to save the Tablet.
This New Year’s adventure-filled movie for the family, children, and kids-at-heart, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” opens January 8 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox.