Race to Witch Mountain

  • 2009-03-18
  • By Monika Hanley

ROCKING OUT: In the Rock's latest film, he helps two alien children avoid an alien assassin.

Director: Andy Fickman

The past few years have been fraught with remakes, and this movie is no exception. The original from the '70s, "Escape to Witch Mountain," didn't get a whole lot of attention, but this remake might 's mostly because of the huge number of explosions, car chases and violence.
Though there is no doubt that this remake is bigger, flashier and in some ways better than the original, it wouldn't really hold its own if it wasn't a remake. But it will attract attention based on the famous actors, which the original didn't have.

The movie stars Dwayne Johnson as Jack, a depressed and bitter taxi driver in Las Vegas who owes some gangsters money. This turns out to be the least of his worries as two children, Seth (Alexander Ludwig) and Sarah (AnnaSophia Robb), pop into his taxi and spice things up in a very sci-fi sort of way.
The two are aliens with supernatural powers who need Jack's help to find their spaceship before an evil alien assassin finds them. And the kids problems don't stop with the alien assassin 's the U.S. government's expert on UFO's is also after them.

The majority of the movie, that which isn't taken up by explosions, consists of scenes whereby the children are trying to convince Jack that they really are aliens and that he needs to help them. Even after meeting the alien assassin, Jack is still skeptical.

Almost as an afterthought, the audience is introduced to Dr. Freedman, a noted astrophysicist who plays a half hearted love interest for Jack. She also acts like a know-it-all and has all the unbelievable answers to help the kids get back to their ship and back home. 
It's easy, very easy, to forget this is a Disney film, as it has none of the usual moral messages or feel good tones. In fact, there are guns. In a Disney movie!

The remake doesn't really come close to the heartwarming sequences of the original, but it does get the adrenalin pumping, if that's what you, or your children, are looking for.
 I'm not sure what's going to come next, but for now perhaps viewers should be content watching some artful explosions and be thankful that children's movies haven't gone completely off the deep end.

Opens in Estonia 3/20 in Lithuania 4/17. Now playing in Latvia.


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