March 23, 2009
Family Film Blogging: Race to Witch Mountain
Posted by Christine Hurt

So, Carter and I left the boys on Saturday night and went to see Race to Witch Mountain.  I have to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for Dwayne Johnson -- he seems so sweet.  Anyway, the movie was pretty good and kept us in suspense (sort of -- it is Disney, we know how it ends).  Parts of the plot are still sort of fuzzy, however. (Apparently someone in the U.S. has discovered the secret to regenerating life after you completely destroy your environment, and that's why the aliens have to come to earth to find it.  If they find it, then they can give their military-controlled government a reason not to just invade Earth and take it over now that their home planet is uninhabitable.  So, they get the "secret" in about 10 minutes, and no one seems to think it's notable to us Earthlings that someone on Earth has discovered this secret.)  Oh, well.  Plot, schmlot.  This is a kids' movie.

So, I remember nothing from Escape to Witch Mountain except the two kids, Tony and Tia, and Tia's magic purse.  Looking around the Internet, the plots aren't similar at all except that there are two children from another planet that have special powers.  As lightweight as the plot of Race to WM is, it doesn't sounds as silly as the plot of Escape.  In Race to WM, kids Seth and Sarah (I guess their planet has the same baby-naming books that Earth does), fly to Earth in their spaceship to find this secret to planet regeneration.  Their landing attracts the attention of the secret, sinister Department of Defense group headed by Ciaran Hinds from Rome) that brings all of its intel to tracking down the "humanids" that head to Vegas, convince taxi driver (and former stock car racer) Dwayne Johnson to drive them where they need to go.  But, the kids have a worse enemy than the DoD -- an assassin sent by their home planet to stop their mission.  Oooh.  Along the way, the threesome picks up a female astrophysicist to help them (Carla Gugino, whose blouse seems much tighter than it needs to be to present a paper at an academic conference) and even run into Whitley Streiber, who pokes good fun at his persona after writing Communion, in which he spoke of being visited by "visitors" and taken to their spaceship.  (In one funny scene, which of course Carter didn't get, was when the four are rushing through a Vegas "alien" convention, and Gugino's character stops Streiber from approaching, saying "Not now, Whitley!")  And Garry Marshall, who is so funny, plays a conspiracy theorist who leads them to Witch Mountain, where the DoD have taken the spaceship.

All in all, we thought it was a good movie, although pretty suspenseful and fairly frightening.  The "assassin" is very scary in sort of a Terminator 2 way.  I am glad we did not take our 7 year-old.

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