Secret of the Tomb displays signs of fatigue right from the start. Not only are a large proportion of the gags repetitive, but they're also delivered by actors who are simply phoning it in (Rebel Wilson plays a night watch guard at the British Museum, barely mustering the energy to even try to be funny). It's only the newcomers - Dan Stevens as Sir Lancelot and Ben Kingsley as Merenkahre, the pharaoh who created the tablet in the first place - who warrant interest.
The screenwriters desperately try to make the audience believe they care about these characters in a way that audiences cared about the toys in the Toy Story films. A whole subplot centres on Larry's relationship with his son (Skyler Gisondo), but the simple truth is that these characters have never been more that faces, so the ham-fisted attempts at carving out moments of sentiment fall flat almost immediately. There are, of course, elements of the film that do work, such as two inspired set pieces. One involves Octavious and Jedediah reenacting Pompeii in miniature form, while the other sees Larry and Teddy entering M.C. Escher's famous Relativity lithograph to claim the tablet back from Lancelot. It would also be hard to argue that this being Robin Williams's last screen performance doesn't add a certain level of poignancy - indeed it would simply be a lie - but it'd be inexcusable to overlook Secret of the Tomb's many, many shortcomings because of this, and this alone.
Jamie Neish | @EmptyScreens