In order to help introduce and reintroduce audiences to the cast of characters in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, 20th Century Fox has revealed a set of brand new posters in promotion of the film. Unfortunately, while the images are rather cute, they’re paired with some facepalm-worthy taglines.
The poster above, featuring the dearly departed Robin Williams reprising his role as Theodore Roosevelt, is one of the better ones in the set, given that it’s actually a historical reference (a nod to the former president’s time fighting with the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War). But what exactly is the other half of this joke? Is it just because he’s shown here riding on a lion at dusk, or did Teddy have some kind of connection with the series Knight Rider that I don’t know about? Sadly, it only gets worse from here.
Here we have Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson as the gladiator Octavius and the cowboy Jedidiah, respectively, but I once again find myself lost getting the tagline joke. Yes, "Night Sized" rhymes with "Bite Sized," but what does "Night Sized" mean?
Up third is Rebel Wilson as Tilly, a new security guard character being introduced to the Night at the Museum franchise, though she has been paired with what is not so much a bad pun as it is a very dated reference that will probably go right over the heads of Secret of the Tomb’s core audience.
Next we have the first of a dual role for Ben Stiller in the new Night At The Museum movie, as in addition to his lead part the comedian is also playing Laa, a Neanderthal. This one isn’t so much ridiculous because of its tagline, but because of the image it’s matched with. An actual club may have been a better way to sell "Nightclubber" than just sticking some bones in the character’s hands.
This poster, featuring Dan Stevens as Sir Lancelot, is simply weird because of all these taglines it’s the perfect place for a homonym swap – "Night" for "Knight" – but the opportunity is completely bypassed. Speaking of which….
I’m not sure if this can be explained by a fast turn-around time or what, but why is Patrick Gallagher’s Attila The Hun the only character poster in this set without some kind of reference to "Night?" Admittedly, "Hun on the Run" is a fine tagline all by itself, but it’s strange that it sticks out of the pack.
Lastly we have the character poster for Ben Stiller’s Larry Daley, the hero of Night at the Museum. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s been partnered with a monkey or because he gets the prime location right in front of Big Ben, but you’ll notice that he wasn’t even given a pun tagline. He’s just "the night guard." I suppose they ran out of ideas.
After all that nonsense, the good news is that the quality of a film’s posters is never really indicative of the quality of the film itself. Instead, we’ll just have to see how Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb stacks up against its predecessors when it’s released this Christmas.