4 stars out of 5 (one of the best of the year)
Jack Bruno (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is a Las Vegas taxi driver who always ends up with weird people in his cab. We discover that Jack is also a retired thug for Wolf, a mob leader who sends goons to get him to come back. Apparently, he was a good thug. One day, Jack meets Seth (Alexander Ludwig) and Sara (AnnaSophia Robb), two teenagers who magically end up in his cab. The siblings somehow have an enormous amount of money to pay Jack with, so he takes them on a very, very long ride out into the middle of nowhere. The two seem very strange, and Jack doesn’t feel comfortable leaving them at an abandoned house so he follows them inside.
What Jack doesn’t know is that Seth and Sara are actually aliens from another planet. They explain to Jack that their military wants to take over Earth to save their own species by getting them off their dying planet. Ciphon (Tom Woodruff Jr.), adds to the fun as an alien assassin sent out to kill the kids before they can complete their mission.
The pair is also being hunted by Henry Burke, a federal agent dedicated to finding extraterrestrials. Burke and his agents follow Jack in a car chase, and then suddenly Seth knocks one truck over by basically standing in front of it. A highly doubtful Jack does not believe this whole thing until the kids show him more of their abilities. Seth is able to phase through things and take bullets without being harmed, and Sara is able to read and control objects with her mind.
On the alien/Jack side is also Dr. Alex Friedman, (Carla Gugino) a beautiful expert on aliens who is in Las Vegas for a geek’s UFO convention. The ultimate goal is to get to Witch Mountain, the secret government location where the agents have stashed their crashed spaceship.
“Race to Witch Mountain” is associated with a 1975 movie called “Escape to Witch Mountain” and its sequel “Return from Witch Mountain.”
Years ago my babysitter brought over these videos and I walked out after 15 minutes of the first one because it bored me to death. This one caught my attention very quickly and kept it throughout the 98 minute running time.
This movie is an action comedy from the very beginning. The comedy is ongoing, and the children’s powers supply most of it. The action sequences are very long however, and for about 10 minutes, there is nothing but punching, kicking, and screaming. Several of the action scenes involve Federal agents and the alien assassin trying to capture and kill the children. When Ciphon’s mask is removed, the head inside looks like a brain with eyes, so that might spook or scare some younger viewers. The action sequences are intense, but no profanity is used. The first few minutes of “Race to Witch Mountain” are acceptably slow-moving, but once Seth and Sara appear the film speeds up almost immediately.
Rated PG for mild action sequences and peril.