Night at the museum was truly the start of an unexpected franchise; I have fond memories of seeing the first one in the cinema with my family during the holidays. It makes perfect sense that the latest film in the franchise is coming to Disney+ just in time for the Christmas season. This time though, the franchise returns in animated form with sleek animation and a great voice cast; it would have been nice to have some of the original actors return to voice their characters, but the new cast does a good job stepping into the roles.
Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again
The film picks up several years after the events of Secret of the Tomb and the Natural History Museum is struggling to find a new night watchman. Indeed, Larry Daley (voiced by Zachary Levi) runs the Tokyo museum and the exhibits want his son Nick (voiced by Joshua Bassett) to take over as night watchman for the summer. Nick is now growing up as a senior in high school, trying to find his confidence as he accepts this new job.
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Zachary Levi and Joshua Bassett step nicely into the roles of Larry and Nick Daley, though it’s odd to hear Larry’s voice and not Ben Stiller’s. Nick Daley didn’t have such a big role in the original movies, so it’s good that they decided to give him the starring role this time around. He’s a very relatable character as a high school student trying to find himself and his place in the world. He has to take big steps growing up when he accidentally releases Kahmunrah from the museum’s basement.
The supporting actors do a good job filling the exposition roles, though the voice differences are a bit jarring at first, especially Thomas Lennon as Teddy Roosevelt. It’s nothing against Lennon’s performance, it’s just not the late great Robin Williams. It’s the same with Steve Zahn and Jack Whitehall as Jedediah and Octavius; their performances are good, it’s just not Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan. Once you get past that, you get used to it as the movie progresses.
Overall, I think putting Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again on Disney+ was the right move; it’s not a bad movie, but it wouldn’t have been a blockbuster, especially with Avatar: The Way of the Water comes out next week. The story is straightforward and the villains are a bit lackluster, but the fast 80-minute runtime helps make up for that. It’s definitely a great movie for families and I hope they continue Night at the museum franchise in this style of animation, hopefully with a new story to tell.
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