Sadly, I pick movies like this all the time. A night-out comes so rarely that most times, I pick something that is safe, popular, and won’t engage me in any way except for pure entertainment.
Sometimes, that strategy works (Talledega Nights) but most times, it’s a failure. Night at the Museum was a failure.
Derivative, unoriginal, and not funny. We’re left with some great special effects (skeletal T-Rex) and not much else.
It’s also one of those movies where you can tell the studio got involved and told them to add a Romantic Interest though there’s no real room for such an interest. In Museum, the interest doesn’t even develop into a sub-plot. Seriously, we won’t be upset if there’s no romance. Sure, a good romance can add a lot to a movie. It can drive many movies. But it can also bring down a lot of movies.
Luckily for Night at the Museum, the movie can’t really fall, because that would require it to be, well, good in the first place.
I’ve never read the book that this movie was based. I’m sure it was much better than the movie. I’m sure it was also a book aimed at 12 year olds.
The ‘what-if’ that generated the idea was probably the same one that created Toy Story, Jumanji, and many others (what happens when the lights go down at the — fill in location here). Soon, there’ll be a movie about what happens when the fridge door closes.