Apart from featuring known characters, the film is a soulless money-grab attempt. The vast majority of the jokes fall flat, and the plot doesn’t make much sense.
We review the Disney+ film Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, which does not contain spoilers.
After the likes of Diary of Wimpy Kid and The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again is Disney’s latest attempt to re-animate a beloved 20th Century Fox classic. The film also marks Disney’s first 2D animation since 2011’s Winnie The Pooh. None of the original stars from the live-action trilogy reprised their roles, and no one from the original production team had any involvement in the making of this animation.
Completely disregarding what happened at the end of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the animated movie starts by introducing a new potential night security guard on his first day on the job at the Museum of Natural History. The exhibits, including Teddy Roosevelt (originally played by the late Robin Williams, now voiced by Thomas Lennon), Sacagawea (voiced by Kieran Sequoia, played in the live-action by Mizuo Peck), Jedediah (now voiced by Steve Zahn who replaced Owen Wilson) and, of course, Dexter the monkey (played by a real monkey in the live-action, replaced by human voice actor Dee Bradley Baker), try and succeed to scare the new guard into quitting in under three minutes. Larry (voiced by Zachary Levi, replacing Ben Stiller) is not impressed with the exhibits’ actions. The beloved nightguard has been offered a job at a Tokyo museum, so he needs to find a replacement.
Who could replace Larry as the Night Guard? None other than his teenage son, Nick (Joshua Bassett), who is not only aware of the museum’s secret but also practically grew up bonding with the revived historical figures. At first, Nick is a bit apprehensive about taking the job, but his father soon convinces him. Things start going wrong for poor Nick as soon as he starts his new job. He forgets to lock the basement door and accidentally unleashes a dangerous foe: Kahmunrah, the evil foe from the second movie (now voiced by Joseph Kamal). Still as villainous as ever, Kahmunrah is set on destroying the world (again) and it’s up to Nick and his friends from the Museum of Natural History to stop him and his evil plans before sunrise.
Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again has little in common with the trilogy Ben Stiller made famous years ago. Apart from featuring known characters, the film is a soulless money-grab attempt. The vast majority of the jokes fall flat and the plot doesn’t make much sense. What made the live-action movies special was the witty dialogue and engaging narrative. This film had none of that. Some believe this to be a back-door pilot for a potential Disney+ animated series. Hopefully, they’re wrong.
The film’s runtime is one hour and 17 minutes. That’s one hour too long. Unfortunately, this animated reboot has few redeeming qualities, even as a children’s film. At best, it’s a mediocre animation that may or may not keep your child busy while you’re cooking dinner. At worst, it’s a failed attempt at profiting from a well-known franchise.
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