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   Fri, March 13, 2009



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COMMENT





Witch Mountain will thrill kids
By LIZ BRAUN - Toronto Sun


For children in the 1970s, Escape To Witch Mountain -- book or movie -- was a very big entertainment cheese.

Small wonder that someone came up with the idea of remaking the story for today's kids.

Race To Witch Mountain is that new science-fiction adventure, a film that piles on the action and the thrills to make up for what it lacks in logic. The movie begins with an Unidentified Flying Object streaking across the sky and landing on Earth, and before you know it specialists are looking for two alien beings.

Meanwhile, a Vegas cab driver named Jack Bruno (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) picks up an adolescent brother and sister (Alexander Ludwig and AnnaSophia Robb). They're both blond and attractive and they both display perfect grammar and enunciation. What the -- !

Obviously, they're the aliens.

The kids get Jack to drive them to an isolated house out in the desert, and that's when worlds collide.

The young aliens have paranormal powers, so their wisdom and huge vocabulary are matched by their ability to move objects with their minds, talk to animals and walk through walls. Their main task is to find a special object that their parents have left on Earth, and the survival of both their world and ours depends on their success.

Jack Bruno helps these kids initially because he sees them as children and feels protective toward them.

By the time he has followed them into an underground world, been chased by a train, pursued by special agents and attacked by a huge alien soldier, he and the kids are a team, fighting for the survival of our planet and theirs.

Race To Witch Mountain also has Carla Gugino in the cast, as an astrophysicist, and Ciaran Hinds as the grim UFO investigator. (And it has cameo roles for Kim Richards and Iake Eissinmann, who played the alien children in Escape To Witch Mountain.) As well, Garry Marshall turns up briefly to hijack the action in a minor role as a UFO specialist, but we're not sure how to explain that.

Race To Witch Mountain is fast and furious and the action is bound to please children, who are the target audience.

Perhaps in a nod to fans of the original movie, however, there's something pleasantly old-fashioned about the film.

It has a generally innocent air, what with space ships and earnest teenagers and such, and it has Dwayne Johnson, who turns out to be a sort of secret weapon of goodwill.

And who doesn't like The Rock?

(This film is rated PG)

RELATED LINKS

  • More on The Rock
  • The SLAM! Wrestling Movie Database