Race to Witch Mountain
Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) is a cab driver in Las Vegas. One of his passengers is Dr. Alex Friedman (Carla Gugino), a failed scientist who is giving speeches about legitimate scientific theories of UFOs and outer space.
The next day, Bruno notices two children, Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) sitting in the back seat of his cab. They tell him they need to go to a certain destination and are willing to pay all they have ($15,000, which they removed from an ATM) to get there. They lead him to a house in the middle of nowhere. Meanwhile, Major Henry Burke (Ciarán Hinds) is searching for information on the two aliens that landed some days earlier.
When they arrive at the house, Bruno follows them out of concern and curiosity. There, the kids retrieve the device they were looking for, contained within alien flora.
When leaving, they are attacked by a “Siphon” (Tom Woodruff, Jr.), a creature built to destroy a certain target. The Siphon pursues them, until its spaceship crashes into a train, the locomotive is destroyed by an explosion in the railroad tunnel, and the creature is wounded. The trio eventually find themselves in a small town. The children explain to Bruno that they are aliens from a distant planet, who are sent to Earth by their parents because the government of their dying planet intends to attack and invade Earth so that their kind may live on there. They also explain that the object they obtained at the house contains the results of an experiment which their parents set up. The research from this experiment will save their planet without having to attack and invade Earth. However their planet’s military prefer the idea of invading Earth and sent the Siphon assassin to stop them. They are next pursued by government agencies trying to retrieve the children for experiments.
They are joined by Dr. Friedman at the UFO Expo. With help of one of Dr. Friedman’s friends, the kids discover that their crashed spaceship has been relocated to a government base at Witch Mountain. The group, now including Dr. Friedman, after evading the pursuing government agents, eventually arrive at Witch Mountain. There, the children are captured, along with Bruno and Friedman. The government agents began running tests to try to discover the secret of their powers in attempt to harness them. Burke then plans to kill them and do unspeakable things to them. Nevertheless, the two humans escape and come to rescue the kids in nick of time. The Siphon causes a distraction by attacking the base, allowing the humans to free the children and reach their ship. They launch the ship, escape through the mountain’s tunnels and kill the Siphon who boarded the ship. Once safe, the kids drop the humans off, and during a tearful goodbye, give Bruno and Dr. Friedman a device that will allow the kids to always find them. As for Burke, whose base is now in ruins, he is left getting questions from Washington. The movie ends with the spaceship taking off and returning to their planet.
During the end credits, Bruno and Dr. Friedman (now in a relationship) are speaking at a UFO convention about their new successful book called “Race to Witch Mountain”. As the couple get into their car and are about to leave, the device the kids gave Bruno activates, implying that they may be returning.
I think by now you all know my feelings towards remakes. In case you don’t, I hate them and think they are an insult to the original film, but I do keep an open mind when viewing.
The remake of Race to Witch Mountain turned out to be better than I thought. I think I may have only seen the original once or twice. That was back in the day when Disney Channel actually showed classic Disney programming and wasn’t all tween happy, but that’s another topic for another blog.
While this film isn’t the greatest thing to hit theaters, it isn’t half bad.
The good…lots of action. I’ve been wondering lately why Dwayne Johnson has been doing nothing but these Disney family films, and while this is a family film, it is more of the action flick that is the reason many have forgotten he was a wrestler not that long ago. Carla Gugino in her limited capacity shows off some acting chops instead of her delicious curves (although much of her wardrobe is very curve friendly). The villain is your typical government alien hater who wants to cover it all up and dissect them just because he can. A bit overdone, but it works.
The bad…the boy is a bit cold. I get that he’s supposed to be an alien and all, but this kid has no feeling whatsoever, even at the ned when he tries to convey some emotion, it doesn’t work. I guess we have another Christian Bale or Hayden Chritsensen on our hands. Like I said the villain is kind of overdone. While he works, I think he could have been scaled back and more emphasis put on the Siphon, or perhaps they should have ended up working together. Adding in the dog was pointless, if you ask me, and why is it the cab took so much abuse, got half fixed, and was still able to run. Something doesn’t quite add up there.
I was surprised as how action packed this thing turned out to be. This jut goes to prove my point about keeping an open mind. While I detest remakes, occasionally one will come along that is worth watching. Race to Witch Mountain does its predecessor justice by being a good film. Is it as good as the original? Well, I’ll have to watch both films again to know that, but as far as this one goes, it is a good flick to watch with the whole family.
4 out of 5 stars