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Security comes alive with Stiller’s Night at the Museum

Dec 28, 20062 mins
Physical Security

By Paul Kerstein

Have you ever wondered how a security guard might handle an extreme situation, such as all the creature displays at a museum coming to life?

It could happen, right? No? Well, maybe in the movies, as it does with this season’s comedy, Night at the Museum, starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Ricky Gervais.

Based on the book The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc, the movie is about a down-on-his-luck entrepreneur, played by Stiller, who lands a job as a night security guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to show his ex-wife and young son that he is dependable. But when the sun sets, everything in the museum comes to life and humorous chaos ensues to fantastic heights.

For security professionals, the movie is a bit of a seat-squirmer. It can make you more and more frustrated, prompting you to out security weaknesses that Hollywood somehow overlooked to your poor spouse, who is forced to listen to your observations and has to constantly shush you throughout the film.

Here are a few that I noticed:

  • No formal training for the new security guard.
  • Lack of a secondary backup number for an emergency or if the first backup contact is unavailable.
  • No working alarm system.
  • Lack of duplicate set of security keys.
  • Lack of proper lighting in certain areas.
  • No security cameras visible.

Granted, the movie chronicles the story of a bumbling character, and the audience has to expect that no good can come from his newfound career choice.

Despite the film’s obvious shortcomings, folks in the security field should find Night at the Museum to be highly entertaining–once they are able to engage their suspension of disbelief.