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Race to Witch Mountain movie poster

Race to Witch Mountain

Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG
Directed by:
Andy Fickman
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig, Carla Gugino,
Ciarán Hinds, Tom Everett Scott, Garry Marshall, Kim Richards, Ike Eisenmann
Released by: Walt Disney Pictures

In Short: Designed with the under-12 set in mind, this exciting (but extremely derivative) science-fiction adventure will satisfy the youngsters while not proving too painful for parents.
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Blast Off For a Family Adventure
Science Fiction, Kids Style

Take a spoonful of E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, throw in a pinch of The Terminator, add in a dollop of James Bond, reference back to the original 1970s Walt Disney flick Escape to Witch Mountain and you’ve got the new Race to Witch Mountain.

Director Andy Fickman reteams with Dwayne ("The Rock") Johnson after their surprise success The Game Plan for this loose remake of the first Witch Mountain movie. Johnson, who has proven to be an extremely versatile actor once he put his WWE wrestling career behind him, makes a terrific reluctant hero. As Jack Bruno, a Las Vegas taxicab driver who inadvertently picks up a fare that pitches him headlong into an out-of-this-world adventure, Johnson is always fun to watch.

Carla Gugino, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig and Dwayne Johnson Ciarán Hinds and Chris Marquette in Race to Witch Mountain

His passengers are two teenagers, a beautiful pair of siblings played by the luminous AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig, who just happen to be space aliens who have come to earth in an attempt to save their dying planet. Naturally, there are bad guys out there that want to stop them, both human and alien (see the Terminator reference earlier), as well as a pretty scientist (Carla Gugino) who joins into the adventure and adds some romance to the tale.

There's plenty of action, excitement, and laughs as the predictable, derivative tale plays out, with nothing particularly groundbreaking or new here. But for kids from ages 7 to 13 that have not seen the films that Race to Witch Mountain culls from, this is a film that will satisfy and excite them without scaring them too badly. And isn't that exactly what Walt Disney movies have always set out to do? In that regard, Race to Witch Mountain is a resounding success.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

(Updated: 03/13/09 KR)

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