Las Vegas taxi driver Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) sets off on the adventure of a lifetime when two mysterious teens ask him to drive them deep into the Nevada desert. Jack agrees to take siblings Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) to Witch Mountain, a shadowy government outpost devoted to studying inexplicable phenomena - including UFO sightings. But his young passengers are no ordinary teens. With a ruthless adversary on their trail, Sara and Seth display astonishing supernatural abilities and Jack becomes a reluctant hero as he helps them evade their pursuer. As Witch Mountain reveals its long hidden secrets, Jack discovers that his passengers are the only key to saving the world!
Race to Witch Mountain reunites Dwayne Johnson (The Game Plan, Get Smart) with director Andy Fickman (The Game Plan, She's the Man) in a rousing sci-fi adventure that the entire family will enjoy. The film also stars AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabitha), Alexander Ludwig (The Seeker: The Dark is Rising), Carla Gugino (Night at the Museum),Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do), Ciaran Hinds (The Tale of Despereaux, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I), Chris Marquette (Just Friends), Billy Brown (Lakeview Terrace), Cheech Marin (Beverly Hills Chihuahua) and Garry Marshall ("The Simpsons"), with special appearances by Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann, who played Tina and Tony, the siblings who hold the fate of the world in their hands, in the classic Disney films.
Race To Witch Mountain Cast List
Tom Everett Scott
... Jack Bruno
... Dr. Alex Friedman
... Henry Burke
... Dr. Donald Harlan
... Sheriff Anthony
... Eddie Cortez
Race to Witch Mountain is yet another remake of an older film. Although in this case, this is hardly a remake. Perhaps "revisioning" as was recently done with Star Trek is a more appropriate term. The original Escape from Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain were family films primarily geared toward children. Race to Witch Mountain is a family film, but attempts to engage adults as well with some of the story references. As the title implies with 'Race', this is an action film with several explosive sequences and some nifty special effects. All told, the film pleasantly succeeds in its efforts to entertain.
First off, we'll admit that Dwayne Johnson's turn as the lead interested us as much as the film being a remake. He's managed to carve out a decent career with his films almost always being entertaining - never that bad, but never that great. Once again, he delivers even if the writers chose to use some cliched elements to set up his character: tough childhood, criminal past, gone straight, cares but doesn't want to get too emotionally invested. We will give them credit for using his criminal past coming back as a reason for him to run and evade the federal agents, but this turns into a running bit with no resolution. Since the film does conclude with obvious sequel possibilities, we can only hope that this particular subplot was "saved" for later. We do also have to note that the film made a couple of thinly-veiled political statements about the military and the environment, but both were covered in one scene and never refenced again.
Like Johnson's previous turn in The Game Plan, we were pleasantly surprised to be so well entertained by Race to Witch Mountain. Johnson carries the film well as the lead. We found Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) to be irresistably charming and sweet, although Seth (Alexander Ludwig) was rather wooden and distant. Henry Burke (Ciaran Hinds) did spend a lot of time sneering and leering as a stereotypical government black ops bad guy. The inclusion of a science fiction convention and its quirky atendees was a nice touch even though it's not that original anymore (even CSI has done a science fiction convention in Las Vegas episode). The story was functional and the leads had enough chemistry to succeed in turning into a rather unusual family by the end of the film. The film was thankfully not undone by the action and effects which reflect solid production values for the film. We were pleasantly entertained by the film and more importantly would be more than willing to 'endure' repeated viewings with our kids as this was a surprisingly good film.
Race to Witch Mountain Blu-ray Extras:
- DVD Extras (see above)
- Backstage Disney: Which Mountain? - Director Andy Fickman reveals the film's hidden references to the
original movies, Escape to Witch Mountain and Return from Witch Mountain.
- D-Box - Viewers equipped with a D-BOXT Integrated Motion System will be able to experience a
whole new dimension while watching this movie. Buy the Race to Witch Mountain Blu-ray Now!