Saturday, March 21, 2009

Race To Witch Mountain

The title of this remake of the nearly-classic Escape To Witch Mountain gives it all away.

Race.

There is very little of the 1975 original in this modern version. Sure, there is a tip of the hat to Eddie Albert's character, Jason, and some funny gags for UFO nerds like me: there's a Dr. Friedman (named for a famous UFOogist), a thinly veiled mocking of conspiracy-king David Icke and Whitley Strieber has a cameo. Even the actors who played the young siblings in the original flick each have small roles in the new movie.

But trust me: none of the gimmicks make this movie watchable.

I feared I hated the movie because of my love for the original. The longer I think of it, it's just not true. Sure, there are things I enjoyed about the original that I missed in the new version: things like a plot, solid story-telling, reasonably good acting, dramatic moments, an unfolding explanation of the kids' powers and where they were from. Call me old fashioned, but those elements made for a fine movie-going experience.

Race To Witch Mountain starts and stays fast paced, uses tons of pyro and follows illogical plot-lines. (Sure, I can accept a couple of alien kids with powers, but a pre-built underworld below a Nevada mining shack?!?) But there's no substance to be found: nothing to make you connect with any of the characters, and nothing to help carry the suspense. Race invites an audience to the theater to watch it move fast and blow things up, and forgot about being entertaining.

This movie is a disaster from the beginning to end.

7 comments:

Paige said...

I was afraid of that. The sad thing is that Hollywood can produce a half-hearted movie for kids and parents like me, who love any excuse to go to the theater, will spend their money. It sucks for everyone.

Chris James said...

Does the People's Elbow get dropped on any aliens at any point in this movie?

The Film Geek said...

No, but there were several shots of the People's Eyebrow Arch.

Jackie said...

Any movie with The Rock gets an automatic 3 stars from me...and if I don't fall asleep I throw in an extra one.

JL + DW = TLA

Jackie said...

Dammit!!!

JL + DJ = TLA

I gotta say DW is funny as hell though :D

primalscreamx said...

You know... I think I talked to Friedman once. Not a bad guy, really, but I doubt he could take The Rock.

The Film Geek said...

Jackie: Man, you know I can't do algebra!

Bill: Bet you did. He was in Charleston a couple years ago at a film festival. Always seems a good guy in interviews.