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Race to Witch Mountain (3 stars)

(PG) 98min

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Race to Witch Mountain

FANTASY/ADVENTURE

Director Andy Fickman (She’s the Man, The Game Plan) revives one of Disney’s most venerable properties by pimping out 1975 ‘alien kid’ adventure Escape to Witch Mountain as a high-concept vehicle for the studio’s current star Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock. Fickman and Johnson scored a notable family hit with comedy The Game Plan, and the wrestling star has a tailor-made role here as Jack Bruno, a good-natured Las Vegas taxi-driver who finds two unearthly children teleported into the back of his cab. Po-faced extra-terrestrials Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) immediately attract the unwanted attentions of black suited FBI-man Henry Burke (Ciaran Hinds), and the kids’ magical powers convince Bruno to help them escape to their secret rendezvous at Witch Mountain.

Less cheesy than might have be expected, Race to Witch Mountain is a solid, briskly told, if somewhat blandly executed time-passer, making up in speed and slick production values what it lacks in character. The original Witch Mountain kids, Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards turn up in extended cameo roles as a small town sheriff and his sympathetic pal, reflecting Finkman’s attention to the original concept’s detail which should please kids and nostalgic parents alike.

General release, Fri 10 Apr.

Race To Witch Mountain: trailer

Race to Witch Mountain

  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • US
  • 98 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Andy Fickman
  • Written by: Andy Fickman, Mark Bomback
  • Cast: Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Carla Gugino, Alexander Ludwig, Tom Everett Scott, Chris Marquette

Sympathetic revival of 1975's Escape to Witch Mountain as a vehicle for The Rock. Jack Bruno, a Las Vegas taxi-driver picks up two alien children (Anna Sophia Robb) and (Alexander Ludwig) and attracts the attentions of FBI-man Henry Burke (Hinds) in this solid time-passer that makes up in speed and slick production values…

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