If you like movies with smart asses, you will like this movie. If you like museums, you will like this movie. I like both very much, so I laugh very hard when I watch this movie even the third time through. As a matter of fact knowing what’s going to happen produces an anticipatory laugh.

OK, you get it, I think this movie is very funny. Ben Stiller is a great smart ass on the same level as Bill Murray and early Eddie Murphy [and Bob Hope], and he can be scary too [for example the scene with Brundon the baby guard]. Part of me wants to intellectualize this discussion and say that smart asses are the American writ large but it’s just as likely I like smart asses because they are usually giving authority the finger and are verbally quick. Hank Azaria, why doesn’t he have a bigger career?, also wrings all the comic melodrama out of his part [I have come back from the dead!]. And what the film does with museum objects that come to life at night because of a special Egyptian tablet [Brigadoon just popped into my head] is imaginative and lots of fun-wouldn’t you want to ride a dinosaur [shades of From The Mixed Up Files-stop it with the cultural illusions].

AFI-put this film on your list of the best 100 comic films, now.