Review: “Race to Witch Mountain”

March 17, 2009 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen the original Race to Witch Mountain.  I think I saw it around the same time I saw Tron, another movie I barely remember anything about.  So, it’s safe to say that I went into this version of Witch Mountain with a fresh mind.

Race to Witch Mountain follows two kids, brother and sister Sarah and Seth (Anna-Sophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig), who are actually aliens trying to recover an alien artifact and their alien ship in order to get back to their alien planet.  Apparently there are no witches in Race to Witch Mountain.

Helping them is wheelman-for-the-mob-turned-taxi-driver Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) and hottie scientist Alex Friedman (Carla Gugino).  Not helping them is government agent Burke (Ciaran Hinds) and his underlings that are trying to capture the kids and experiment on them.

First and foremost, this is a kids’ movie, therefore, it should appeal to kids.  And indeed it does.  Most of the audience I saw it with (aside from my girlfriend and about twenty or so twenty-somethings) were children and their parents, all of which seemed to get a kick out of this flick.  The children ‘oooh-ed’ and ‘aaahh-ed’ at all the appropriate moments, and seemed thrilled whenever something excited happened, like a car flipping over or the kids using their crazy powers to do something crazy.  Indeed, there was enough action and special effects wizardry here that it seemed like a Michael Bay movie for 9-year-olds.

The cast is all fine here.  I can’t really attest to Johnson’s acting ability in his other childrens’ fare, since this is the first PG movie of his I’ve seen.  He does seem to improve slightly with every movie I do see him in.  The kids are also OK (although Ludwig seemed a little obnoxious, and I don’t know if that’s the character or the actor).  Ciaran Hinds plays a decent villain, all straight-faced no-nonsense.  Carla Gugino isn’t really given much to do, except stand around and look hot, but that’s not a bad thing from my point of view.

The movie itself seemed to be a tad too violent (and the alien assassin looked a bit too scary) for a ‘PG’ rating, but then again The Dark Knight really pushed the boundaries of what can be shown in a ‘PG-13’ film.  Overall, Race to Witch Mountain is enjoyable, especially for the younger crowd, even if it does suffer from the same general pitfalls that most kid-friendly action movies usually do.  If you’ve got kids, this is the movie to take them to, not Watchmen, unlike some parents who don’t bother looking a movie’s rating.

7.5/10

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