Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb: REVIEW

What began as a fresh and creative idea in 2006 has been stretched thin over a couple of forced sequels in the Night at the Museum franchise. There’s a bunch of dumb fun to be had, and the kids will enjoy it, but the newest Museum is hardly inspired, and had the potential to be a lot more heartfelt and hilarious than it is.

Watching this third Night at the Museum will bring a few good chuckles, but also a sense of disappointment – it’s always a bit frustrating to watch a number of A-level comic actors get together to do C-level comedy.

But despite its recycled gags, Night at the Museum’s final outing is still noteworthy for serving as a fitting tribute to comic legend Robin Williams in his final performance.

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Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is rated PG for rude humor and mild action. 

© Matt Tory, 2014. 

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: REVIEW

Ridley Scott’s (Gladiator, Alien, Prometheus) epic retelling of the Moses story is an ambitious spectacle.

In terms of an entertaining, emotional, faithful adaptation of the Exodus story, The Prince of Egypt has already given our generation a much better telling of this tale. But the spectacle of Exodus is a delight to behold, and Christian Bale compelling in his performance of the man who ushered the nation of Israel into the Promised Land.

As for its faithfulness to the Biblical story, Exodus: Gods and Kings has a few inaccuracies – God himself is represented by a whiny British child, the theological reasoning behind each particular plague are absent, and the overall context of the exodus story is missing.

Though it’s refreshing to see such talented artists tackling biblical story lines with massive ambition, perhaps the biggest problem with Exodus: Gods and Kings is the same major problem with most biblical adaptations: a lack of context.

Sure, the story of an ancient people fighting for their freedom from their oppressors is a compelling one – but the whole context of what the Exodus story is really about (Israel’s ongoing relationship with God and God’s promises to them throughout the generations) is missing. And with it, the resonance of what the Exodus story truly means and represents in the grand scheme of the biblical story line and within the history of the nation of Israel.

Exodus drags through its uneven pacing and adds in a number of confusing elements, but it’s just so spectacularly ambitious that it’s a pleasure to watch unfold – even if this story has been told plenty of times before, and better.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings is rated PG-13 for battle violence.

© Matt Tory, 2014.