“Race to Witch Mountain” PG Thrill Ride.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Kids/Family, Thriller and Remake

Release Date: March 13th, 2009 (wide)

MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements.

Distributors: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Directed by: Andy Fickman

JJ Rating: B+

Sara (Anna-Sophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) are siblings from a far away planet who crash landed on Earth to perform a mission that is to help their home as well as Earth. They arrive to find proof that they need to take back, but when they go to their ship it has been taken. Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) is their unwitting driver in his taxi cab that tries to help them get back to their ship. Race to Witch Mountain.

I have not seen the original, but I heard that the difference makes this more of a retooling than a retelling. I think Disney is a smart company as a whole. They’ve made some mistakes here and there, but over all they know what they are doing. They offer up one of their better live-action stories for a new generation and they spiced it up to match fan fair of other films and TV shows that the young persons are into. I think they’re appealing to the character of children today and giving them something most other studios fail in comparison.

Dwayne Johnson no longer has “The Rock” in his name. Seems to be a significant point in his career to show that that is in his past and now he is more focused on the second leg of his famous life and that is the leg of acting. Some people will take that seriously and others will just write him off. But for those that write him off they are missing out on someone that actually has talent. It’s not easy doing children’s movies and doing the campy stuff and make it the right balance of campy and serious that it doesn’t drown in cheese. Not only do I notice that he’s good, I can see how well he is with children. There is chemistry between him and Anna and Alexander. They have this Trinity Affect. Then when their characters meet Dr. Alex Friedman (Carla Gugino) they have this Four Horsemen Affect. The four of them take the on the screen and just rule.

There is a robotic and none-emotional feel to Sara and Seth, but it most likely is a protective type thing where they don’t want to get connected to a world that just might not exist the next day. Anna-Sophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig do that pretty well. I can see the emotions that are below the surface but their protective bubble they created is keeping them away. The way they said their lines was great because it added to the weirdness and humor of children speaking so matter-of-factly and unlike their human counterparts.

I paid about 20$ to see this movie. That was for a ticket plus popcorn and a drink. The reason I mention that is because I’m not irritated that I paid that much to watch Race to Witch Mountain. I think that speaks for itself.

The story is fast paced. There’s not a lot of time to become bored with where the story is going or where it actually is. There is also humor littered throughout the film with lots of action. It’s a great children’s movie and I believe that the adults that have children will also be entertained by this retooled story. The actors that played the children from the original are in this film, so that’s something to look for if you’ve seen the original.

I think it’s funny how stories tend to allot superpowers. In this film the female has telekinetic powers, reads minds and talks to animals. The male has the ability to alter his molecular structure to become indestructible (to a point) and go through walls. The female powers tend to be more empathetic and the male powers tend to be more physical and protective. Seems to be the same with most movies that have powers, like in The Watchmen Dr. Manhattan is male with all that power. I can’t think (and someone will correct me if I am wrong) of a female character that has had tremendous power (excluding Phoenix and Dark Phoenix because that was more of an entity controlling someone than actually being the powerful one) like Dr. Manhattan or Onslaught (X-Men villain hybrid of Professor X and Magneto). I wonder why? For so much talk about how there is no real difference between genders and how females can do whatever males can there surely isn’t a female equivalent to Dr. Manhattan that I know of. Even Super-girl and Wonder Woman pale in comparison to Superman.

Totally off topic, I know. Anyway, The Race to Witch Mountain was a fun movie that I would see again and, quite possibly, own. It has great characters, a fun story, humor, action and it’s clean and keeps within bounds of PG without footing the line. It is a PG Thrill Ride, if I am to be so corny. Also if you are a parent The Race to Witch Mountain is a movie you cannot only withstand but enjoy with your children and feel you got your moneys worth; and in this economic fun time that is important.

1 comment:

Happyrunningbunny said...

I was very upset when I heard about this movie because I have seen the original and it is one of my favorite childhood movies. IF I had kids I might consider taking them to see this but since I don't I will have to wait until it comes to TV to see if it compares to the original.

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