Race to Witch Mountain
Disney has returned to something that has worked in the past, the “Witch Mountain” movies. They have pulled out all the stops in this one by hiring the popular Dwayne Johnson (the actor formerly known as “The Rock”) as the protagonist, and added Annasophia Robb (who started out shining in 2005’s “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) as the teenaged alien, Sara. She’s joined by her alien brother, Seth (Alexander Ludwig) as the pair is out to save their planet, as well as ours. There is a “McGuffin” they need to find and return to their planet, and they need to get their spacecraft back from the government (it crashed when they landed).
Sara and Seth have super powers; she has telepathy and telekinesis powers (meaning she can read minds and move objects with her mind); he can change the density of his body (meaning he can move through walls and stop moving vehicles with his body). There is a super-alien monster villain out to kill Sara and Seth to keep them from bringing the “McGuffin” back to save the planet. On top of that, a government agent, Henry Burke (Ciarán Hinds) is chasing them so he can find out what makes them tick. Seth and Sara get into the cab of Jack Bruno (Johnson) and the chase is on. It lasts for the rest of the movie.
All the actors give good performances but I guess when Johnson dumped his “The Rock” persona, he also stopped raising his eyebrow. Big mistake. He’s a good actor with a lot of charisma, but not raising that eyebrow is as big a mistake as the makers of the last James Bond film when they took the line “Bond, James Bond” out. (Some things are so iconic they shouldn’t be dropped.)
The entire movie is the chase with all the bells and whistles you might expect, including cameos by Lake Eissinmann and Kim Richards (who played the roles of Seth and Sara in the originals) and an iconic ‘68 Mustang (owned by The Tolucan Times auto columnist, Dave Kunz) driven by Jack Bruno at the end of the film. This is a fun movie, due in large part to Johnson’s charm and charisma, but Disney was wise to cut it off at 98 minutes. More would have been too much.