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   The funniest, nastiest movie reviews anywhere.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

I fucking love the Interwebs.  Without them, how could I know - and with less effort than it takes to butter some popcorn - that one of Ben Stiller's earliest roles was playing "Fast Eddie Felcher" on Miami Vice.  Or that the verb "to felch" means to orally extricate ejaculate from someone's anus or vagina, and thus that one who felches is called a "felcher".  Further meaning that even at the beginning of his career, the universe already had Ben Stiller's cum-guzzling number.

Knowing really is half the battle.

And speaking of battles, though it's only 98 minutes long, I had to fight harder than Rosa Parks for a choice bus seat to stay awake all the way through the most obligatory-feeling bit of film I've seen since my great aunt's colonoscopy video, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

Simply because it might have gotten one parent to take one kid to an actual museum, I can't totally torpedo the first Night at the Museum movie or its "What if all the exhibits came alive at night?" conceit.  My charity ends there, though.  I'm pretty sure I saw the second one, Battle of the Smithsonian, but it was so utterly forgettable that I couldn't tell you a thing about it (and if that's not the mark of some quality filmmaking, I don't know what is).

With the third - and if there is any justice in this topsy turvy world, final - entry in the series, every single person involved with this film, from the director to the lowliest grip, was obviously there solely because they were required to be.  Whether they'd signed a two-sequel contract after the first movie hit, lost some sort of bet or were biologically compelled to keep trying to get into Vanessa from Wardrobe's panties, everybody was there because they had no choice.  Secret of the Tomb reeks of obligation like a subway station reeks of piss.

For many years, I was a Ben Stiller apologist.  People would say to me, "He's so annoying!" or "Stiller sucks donkey ass!"  I would cite the better sketches from The Ben Stiller Show or his dramatic turn in Permanent Midnight and tell them they had him all wrong.  Then came Zoolander .  And Along Came Polly.  And Starsky & Hutch.  Pretty much everything he's done since 2001.  And I had to admit that Stiller has the charisma of a star-nosed mole and the talent of a substitute high school drama teacher.

Maybe he's realized it as well.  With each new role, he seems to be trying less and less.  If he was any more laid back in Secret of the Tomb he'd be your mom on her prom night.

Not helping matters at all is director Shawn "I Haven't Met a Shitty Script I Didn't Love" Levy, who I guess is into water sports (and I'm not talking about swimming or diving) because he shoehorns in not one but two monkey-pissing scenes.  Into a kids' movie, no less.  That sick bastard.

Robin Williams is laughing maniacally as he snorts rails with Jimi Hendrix and John Belushi that Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb will be his last onscreen appearance.

January 4, 2015