Dave's Rating:


… not all that hilarious …

Who's in It: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Charlie Murphy, Steve Coogan, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson

The Basics: Stiller battles big dinosaur bones that come to life at his night-watchman gig. Also a monkey. And you'll be pleased to know that Williams does not play the monkey. Then divorced dad Stiller earns the respect of his kid because a movie about dinosaur bones coming to life also has to have a subplot about self-esteem and other stupid human stuff shoehorned into it.

What's the Deal? This is one of those holiday entertainment machines that have to come out every year for families to go see together. Movies like this aren't designed to be memorable, just serviceable, something for you to kill two hours together when you're all sick of being in the same house. You get into the entertainment machine; it takes your debit card number; it jostles you around, yells at you in THX, then you get out of the machine and go get ice cream. Seriously, if you want animals that come to life and do fun stuff, just go see Charlotte's Web instead. Trust me here.

Momentary Funniness: When Coogan, Gervais and Wilson enter the frame. They don't do this enough.

Best Parts: Every time the monkey torments Stiller. It's not all that hilarious, I just like watching Stiller be abused and peed on by a little monkey. There are also good monkey-friend reaction shots of them screaming and clapping. Everything's better with monkeys.

Co-Starring People You Didn't Think Were Still Alive: Van Dyke and Rooney play other museum guards. Rooney calls Stiller "Lunchbox" and other food-centric non-insults. I don't know why.


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