Friday, March 20, 2009

Race to Witch Mountain

Dwayne Johnson plays Jack Bruno which fits his character just fine. The name Bruno does not fit his look though. He is an ex convict who drives a taxi in Las Vegas. He is a pretty good driver and seems to be a part time driver for a Vegas crime family. Though he does not want to work for them any more and spends part of the movie avoiding the mafia's hench men. These muscle men are beat up by The Rock on more than one occasion and are more inept than anything.

AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig are two blond kids who share the spotlight in this movie. They are aliens in this movie but apparently look like human young teenagers. They crash their ship into earth. Why did they choose to come to earth? To save it. Yes, their world's atmosphere is crumbling and they are thinking of somehow siphoning off some of our atmosphere to repair theirs. Something like that. Theoretically it sounds great but the movie ends before realistically breaking down this process. I am sure it will work, the ending was happy rather than ominous. In fact, this movie was exciting and is designed for the family.

When these aliens collide with the earth the space ship is confiscated by the US government and taken to witch mountain. The latter is not explained and shown until half way into the movie. The aliens escape the military search, use their abilities to steal a lot of money from an ATM, and appear into the back of Bruno's cab. The Rock was pretty funny in the movie, his reactions to the kids being in the back of the taxi are what generate the excitement of the movie. The government is onto him pretty quickly but rather than come with Apache helicopters they go after them in conspicuous black SUV's. The leader of the government agents is CiarĂ¡n Hinds. He has been in many other movies, but I am not going to list any here since I really do not want to.

Henry Burke is Hind's character. This character was straight stolen from The Transformer's government agent which was played by John Turturro. So this is a black mark on this movie. Burke walks around in the mint suit despite chaos and him being in the field. Ridiculous. They drive black SUV's and seem to have an endless supply of them. If two aliens were on the loose, the government would come with more force and not ever allow a taxi driver out maneuver them all over the desert of Nevada.

The alien children are actually good, they are trying to save earth. Their military wants to destroy us and just take over our planet. But the alien children want to prove their theory can work which will save both planets. Both from imminent danger. Their parents were already killed by their military for attempting this feat. The other challenge that faces Bruno and the sweet alien children is their is a government enforcer or alien assassin gunning for them. This alien is about 7 foot tall and covered with seemingly impenetrable suit. Bruno and the cute alien adolescents battle this mercenary and finally kill him at the end. Their are some spectacular scenes in this movie.

The first is when this alien soldier's space ship is destroyed by an oncoming train. That is a powerful meeting of forces. It seems they both lose and that is too bad for the train conducter.

Funny, Cheech Marin makes a cameo as a car mechanic who gives the beat up taxi some much needed repairs. Unrealistically, Bruno wants about 5 hours of work done in an hour but in actuality, Marin's mechanic character only was given about 20 minutes.

The second powerful scene is at the end when the US army meets up with the alien super soldier. This alien tracks them down and is just laying waste to our guys. The disappointing thing about this, is unlike the soldiers in Transformers, this movie does not want to give these soldiers any grenade launchers or 50 caliber weapons. I do not like this, the incredible material protecting this alien combat soldier would not have held up so well with being hit with explosive devices. And it would have been fully tested with 50 caliber rounds as well.

When Bruno finally sees the soldier's face and head after ripping off his helmet, he is shocked. Who would not be? But since this is a family movie and not the riveting, classic, and intense Arnold Scharzenegger's movie known as the Predator, Bruno does not utter the famous line: "You are one ugly mother f-----." Instead, he states, "You should have kept the helmet on." Funny, nevertheless, but not as poignant or audacious.

The music was decent, nothing memorable. The action was plentiful. Another cool scene is when the alien enforcer is knocked about 15 feet at an alien convention in Las Vegas. The alien child uses his power to release the light framing above the stage. I am not sure it that is strong enough, aluminum, to propel a 360 pound object like that in the air, but it was entertaining. The 360 pound object was the alien special forces soldier.

The pretty face in the movie was not so pretty and this was what set the movie back. Carla Gugino is not that hot to her to be teamed up with The Rock is a casting mistake. What the? Their dialogue has been done so many times it is just beyond repetitious. But with numerous action scenes, some creativity, the movie was fairly decent.

I allocate this movie 2 stars.***

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