Retro Review: Race to Witch Mountain

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as cabbie Jack Bruno who unexpectedly ends up shuttling two kids (AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig) to an abandoned house in the Las Vegas desert. Along the way, he discovers they just arent your average kids that in fact they are from outer space and have incredible powers. The government and an intergalactic bounty hunter are stalking the kids as they try to complete their mission.

Race to Witch Mountain is loosely based on the the classic Witch Mountain films from the late 1970s. They have become as classic as the $1,000,000 Duck, The Love Bug and The Cat from Outer Space.

The original movies had two orphans with extraordinary powers trying to escape the clutches of mad millionaire. In the remake, you have a mad millionaire sort of with Ciaran Hinds’s FBI Agent trying to track down the kids. But the UFO angle and the silly bounty hunter just overshadow any sort of heart-felt story.

The director, Andy Fickman, seems to think he is making a Jerry Bruckheimer action flick opposed to a Disney family film. His quick pacing, unnecessary violence, explosions and car crashes over-shadow what this movie should be. Fickman worked with The Rock on The Gameplan so he should have known what the tone needed to be. They will reteam together again for the big-screen live-action version of Jonny Quest where The Rock will play Race Bannon to Zac Efron’s rumored Jonny Quest. Ugh!

I think my favorite part of this movie was Carla Gugino. She is brilliant in everything she does but she really shines in this movie. She acts circles around The Rock.

I really would like to see The Rock return to full-blown action films. His action career just seemed to be taking off before he was shoved into this “big sweet guy” persona. My wish seems a long ways off as The Rock has even more kiddie fare on the way.

3 out of 5

Escape to Witch Mountain (1975): 4 out of 5

Return from Witch Mountain (1978): 3.5 out of 5

Beyond Witch Mountain (1982): 2.5 out of 5

Escape to Witch Mountain (1995): 1 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

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