3.17.2009

Race to Witch Mountain : 3 of 5

When I was young, I completely ate up the original Witch Mountain movies, since I loved seeing kids from outer space with amazing powers, so those films have a lot of nostalgic value for me. But I didn't mind at all when I saw that Disney was going to re-invent this movie for today's audience, and I was lucky enough to get to see it at a free sneak preview with my pal Melinda! Race to Witch Mountain takes the basic idea of alien kids trying to get back to their spaceship, but that's about the only thing similar (unless you count the Winnebago, which doesn't get to fly, unfortunately), since the plot has been completely re-created as an all out action movie. But even car chases, military conspiracy and Vegas nightlife can't keep this from feeling like a Disney movie, which is a good thing, in my opinion - it's completely action-packed and light-hearted (without being stupid) at the same time. The Rock does a fine job as the taxi driver who becomes the kids' protector, and the kids themselves are excellent (even though they have to talk in contraction-less robot dialogue most of the time). The girl is especially cool - I remembered her role in Bridge to Terebithia and I think she has a nice career ahead of her. It was fun to see the actors who originally played the kids appear in small roles - I noticed their names during the opening credits and expected them to have two-second walk-ons, but I was impressed that they actually gave them some lines! I really enjoyed the special effects, too, which are mostly concentrated near the end of the movie while the kids' spaceship is actually flying (sometimes a simple saucer design is just right!). I'd recommend this movie to just about anyone, since it's a fun action story that won't put anyone to sleep. I'm glad Disney is getting some more mileage out of my childhood memories!

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