The new night watchman at New York's Museum of Natural History finds that the job comes with more responsibility than he ever dreamed in this wild fantasy comedy directed by Shawn Levy and starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Mickey Rooney, and Dick Van Dyke. Larry Daley (Stiller) is a kind-hearted dreamer who always knew that he was destined for greatness, he just never quite knew how. None of his ideas or inventions has panned out, so with a heavy heart, he takes a regular job as a lowly graveyard-shift security guard at the Museum of Natural History in order to provide a more stable life for himself and his ten-year-old son. His first night on the job, however, he finds that guardianship of the museum is far from stable -- at nightfall, an Egyptian spell brings the artifacts and wax figures to life! With Attila the Hun charging to war through the hallways, the diorama miniatures embroiled in a deadly feud, and a two-ton Tyrannosaurus Rex nagging to play fetch, Larry has half a mind to turn tail and run. On top of cleaning up after two million years of historical chaos every night, he also has to make sure that not a single museum piece leaves the building -- from the bratty Capuchin monkey in the African exhibit, to the life-sized Neanderthal in the prehistoric display -- because if morning light falls on an escaped artifact, it will turn to dust. Larry turns to a wax replica of President Roosevelt (Williams) for a little advice on keeping things in tact, but Teddy seems to think that a man of Larry's greatness needs little help. Larry isn't sure if the former commander in chief is right; this is hardly what he signed up for, but he can't pass up the chance to care for a museum where history really does come to life.
by Jason Buchanan synopsis