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Children, Sci-Fi - Aliens

Race to Witch Mountain (2009)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: PG, USA: PG, Spain: 7
Source of storyA novel in 1968 by Alexander Key, followed by four or five films incorporating the words “Witch Mountain” having the theme of a couple of alien children in trouble.
DirectorAndy Fickman
Writers/ScriptMatt Lopez, Mark Bomback
StarringDwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig, Carla Gugino, Cairán Hinds, Cheech Marin, 
RatingsIMDb: 5.7 by 55,744 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 42% by 156 critics.

Elevator Pitch: Jack Bruno is a former criminal but now reformed and is driving a taxi in Las Vegas. During an otherwise typical day two blonde children materialise in the back of his cab and offer him an unfeasible amount of money to take them to a desert location. Once in the desert he finds that his taxi is being followed by a number of black cars, but the kids have special powers, derailing the pursuers. At a subterranean garden under a desert shack the kids recover a space phone and also collect a pursuer, possibly an armoured robot. Their space ship has been captured by the US military, so to get home they must recover it with Jack’s help.

Content: No nudity sex, drugs, drinking or smoking. I keep my eyes open for what I think might be frightening scenes for young children. In this film the robot like alien which is pursuing the children takes off its helmet to reveal that it is has a sort of humanoid face –  not at all nice. But basically this is a simple plot, so mostly Jack and the kids are being chased usually on the road by the villainous secret agents. Jack’s taxi is trashed but keeps going. At one point he picks up an expert who has been giving a lecture at a convention in Las Vegas. There is potential for romance. Then there is the flying saucer. 

A View: I thought Dwayne Johnson did particularly well, more or less carrying the film. It would have been particularly dull had it not been for him. Judging by the estimated production cost it probably made a bit of money. It’s not really a watch, unless you are a preteen, but you could have it on while doing something else.

Additional Info: When the taxi is driven into a garage to be fixed I’m sure I saw an Austin-Healey 3000, in camouflage paintwork, parked to one side.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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