By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The Night at the Museum is an enjoyable family fun comedy that is getting a third film due to arrive in theatres December 19. Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams will be returning to play their respective roles as Larry, Doctor McPhee and President Theordore Roosevelt. Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan also return to reprise their hilarious straight-man funny-man routine as Jedediah Smith and Octavius and there will be a newcomer waiting in the wings. Comedienne Rebel Wilson will also play a security guard who works at the British Museum.
This little casting note suggests more hijinks will take place at the largest establishment to house Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo, and if this film marks the end of a series, then it may go with a bang. In the first film, the Golden Tablet of Pharaoh Akhmenrah is the MacGuffin that drove that film to its happy end, and in the second film, it’s stolen by Dexter. This monkey never did get punished for the chaos that erupted when the gang clashed with another Egyptian exhibit at the Smithsonian.
In the third film, this magical device might take center stage. Viewers who have followed this back story will wonder if the tale of the two brothers, Akhmenrah and Kahmunrah, or how their conflict arose will get further development. When considering the Battle at the Smithsonian had the elder wannabe pharaoh disappear into the cosmic ether, that’s not likely. But some closure might develop to see where the golden tablet will finally rest. Will it go home to Egypt, and really cause some ruckus at the Cairo Museum or become part of another exhibit? With Ben Kingsley announced to play another pharaoh, could this character be the father of the two brothers? Audiences will well want to know.
With very little information revealed about this third film’s story, only speculation can be offered.
Owners of the DVDs have a heads up in knowing that an alternate scene was filmed for the first movie to show that Cecil, Gus and Reginald still have their sights on this stone. This clip was dropped, and the time is right for them to resurface to pursue the Golden Tablet. The quest for the fountain of youth may well be how this film saga will cap off. And to see this trio return will help bring the trilogy full circle. Dick Van Dyke is rather good at playing a bad guy.
Kahmunrah’s motivation to own the stone is weak. He would eventually discover that to rule the world will never happen when he has to hibernate every day-break.
And if the stone ever gets sent back to Egypt and placed on the Sphinx’s chest, there will no doubt be complications. The Minister of the State of Antiquties will freak at seeing the most iconic figure of Egypt take flight! That would be fun to see, but for now, the story is set in Britain. Other reports have revealed that Downtown Abbey’s Dan Stevens plays Sir Lancelot, a once trusted friend and confident to King Arthur, and he will be a principal character. The third movie sounds like it is simply going back to the Middle Ages.
However, no Arthurian tale can be complete without Merlin, Arthur and Guinevere. With a Pharaoh written into the script, just how he will become involved will be ankh-usual.