Review: Witch Mountain
Plot: A Las Vegas cabbie (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) inadvertently becomes embroiled in an alien plot when he picks up two children that possess strange paranormal powers.
Review: Like the recent BEDTIMES STORIES, RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN is yet another example of Disney’s slick movie making machine- designed to churn out sleek family flicks with the sole objective of making mountains of money. Whether or not the films are any good seems to be irrelevant. As long as the trailers are slick, and the leading actor is bankable, families will flock to see them- even if the film is the cinematic equivalent of a happy meal.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little drive-thru now and then, and RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN is a fairly painless family flick, graced with a charismatic performance from everyone’s favorite ex-WWE wrestler, The Rock. While it’s a little sad to see the formerly badass Johnson playing the lead in family flicks like this- it’s worth noting that, other than THE RUNDOWN, most of his action flicks like DOOM , & WALKING TALL have been pretty lame, so maybe this new family friendly act isn’t all that bad after all.
As the paranormally gifted child heroes, Anna Sophia Robb, and Alexander Ludwig are both fine and they interact well with the CGI. The always smoking hot Carla Gugino shows up as The Rock’s obligatory love interest (lucky guy!), and is good, despite the fact that she doesn’t really have much of a role in the film until the last half hour or so. I also liked seeing film director Garry Marshall pop up as an eccentric UFO guru, and villain extraordinaire Ciaran Hinds is on hand to play the requisite evil government agent.
Overall, WITCH MOUNTAIN is a perfectly fine way to spend 90 minutes, as long as you don’t go in expecting too much. My only real beef with the film is that it seems very little imagination went into the film. The CGI, while mostly passable is really by the numbers- and the film is about as predictable as can be. I also though the hard driving, Bruckheimer-esque score by Trevor Rabin was too over the top (a buddy of mine said the music made him think of old MacGyver episodes). Still- not a bad film for the kiddies, and would probably make a solid DVD rental.