In my previous review of Race to Witch Mountain (when it was in theatres), I stated the following:
“If Rocky and Rambo can have decades-later sequels, why not the Witch Mountain series? But is this really a sequel? Or is it an attempt to start an old Disney franchise over again? My thoughts lean toward the latter view.
Since the story takes place over 30 years after the original, it’s hard to really see this as a direct sequel to the first two films. The main reason being: this one is less about the kids and more about Dwayne Johnson’s (formerly The Rock) character. He’s a down-on-his luck taxi driver who become the chauffer/hero of the two kids on their way to the mysterious Witch Mountain.
And that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, this movie is an enjoyable movie that has a lot going for it. But there could have been more. There is plenty of humor in Johnson’s expressions and asides, which helps move the story through slow spots. Johnson’s a likable guy and has proven himself as an action hero in films like The Rundown, so it’s no surprise his talents in this area are utilized here.
The two kids (AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig) are better actors than their Witch Mountain predecessors, but their dialogue becomes annoying after a while. Apparently aliens speak in monotone voices and say a person’s first a last name each time they address them. Johnson’s presence is a godsend when there needs to be a break from the kids.
Of course, with any alien-themed movie, there are the obligatory FBI/NSA/SETI guys hell-bent on finding and dissecting the aliens. This only adds to the problems our two young aliens face since an alien bounty hunter is also out to destroy them. The lead agent, Henry Burke, will look familiar to those who have seen There Will Be Blood.
Throw in the flashy world of Las Vegas, the sexy Carla Gugino as Dr. Alex Friedman, some decent sci-fi effects, and a UFO convention, and you have a decent sci-fi movie from Disney. Now we’ll see if they can make Tron 2 work!”
My views have not really changed since then.
The Blu-ray Combo pack comes with three versions of the film: Blu-ray, DVD, and a Digital Copy for your computer or portable device. Both the Blu-ray and DVD include Bloopers and Deleted Scenes in their bonus features.
The Blu-ray, however, is the only version that has the special feature, “Which Mountain?,” where you can explore in-depth the parallels between this latest Witch Mountain movie and the previous installments.
I definitely recommend this fun and entertaining film. It’s good sci-fi family fun!