Things I Learned From Watching “Race to Witch Mountain”
1) Just because the remake doesn’t live up to the original doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining
2) Anyone with a Phd and the title “Dr” is going to know how to react in a laboratory environment, which wire to cut, and the correct way to fly a spaceship
3) The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson is not a particularly good or even mildly believable actor, but then again Gridiron Gang, what else is new?
4) The overdone special FX proferred by new technology go a long way…in ruining a movie
5) Kids movies these days are fast paced and automatically engage the viewer; Disney is onto something
The 1975 “Escape to Witch Mountain” was a staple in my preteen movie diet. This was in part because it was on TV all the time, and partly because I was a quasi-dork who loved the vein of Sci-Fi/Fantasy this movie brought to the table.
Telepathic orphan siblings who could move things with their mind power?! Awesome! Honestly, it seemed less farfetched than a lot of pre-pubescent TV offerings at the time (re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…enough said). Walt Disney remade this movie for a March 13th theater release, and it opened with a respectable $24,402,214, a million more than Funny People grossed last weekend at number 1. I waited for its August 4th DVD release to see it, and although it couldn’t touch the classic, it is a decent remake. It is a much better effort than Disney’s 1995 made-for-TV re-envisioning.
The plot was completely reworked and it was more of a departure from than a straight up remake of the original. There were enough allusions to the original to please the audience who grew up with “Escape”(don’t worry, the RV makes an appearance), but it was different enough to keep every viewer on their toes. It’s not going to win any Oscars or Independent Spirit awards, but with Dwayne Johnson in a title role, that’s to be expected. Ideal for a lazy afternoon or a babysitting job.