Sunday the 22nd was the last day of Spring Break for us so as a family we decided to go see Race to Witch Mountain. I know, I can hear you saying “Richard saw a first run movie?!?” Astounding as it is that I paid more than $1. to see a movie in a theater, it’s true.
As we mentioned it to the kiddos earlier in the day I kept wanting to call it Escape to Witch Mountain but was constantly corrected by either "Larry" or "Moe" that it was Race to Witch Mountain. "Curly" was just happy we were going to see a movie. I had never seen the ‘70s version of the movie and all I knew about it was that it starred Eddie Albert as the curmudgeonly old something-or-other that helps a couple of kids that happen to be aliens and ends up learning the true meaning of Christmas… wait… no that was something else. But it did have Eddie Albert in it so the curmudgeonly part is still intact.
Anyway this got me wondering if it was a series of books or movies and each one just represented another chapter in the epic tale that is Witch Mountain! Turns out I was wrong again and they just changed the name for the ’09 version. Just lazy if you ask me.
Our movie opens with a UFO crash in the desert outside Las Vegas and a whole bunch of military types scrambling to find it, neutralize it, and hush it up. Because that's what the military does with all of the UFOs that crash land here. Just ask Art Bell. Now we move on to the lovable loser that is "The Rock" or whatever he's calling himself nowadays. He's a recovering mobster "wheelman" just trying to go legit by driving a cab. The problem is there are two generic mobsters who (quite ineffectively) try to convince him to return to his old criminal ways. Enter two Aryan teenagers who suddenly appear in his cab and refuse to use conjunctions. Their goal is to get to a secret alien underground hideaway, get some alien gadget, and fly back to their planet. The problem is that the government "stole" thier flying saucer.
If one looks at it from a legal standpoint it's more like the government merely towed an abandoned crashed vehicle to a top secret impound lot. However I'm sure Adler & O'Conner (the Tough-Smart Lawyers) would argue differently in a court of law.
From here on in there's a lot of car chases, helecopter chases, jocularity about what humans are like, tough love, environmental disaster, blah blah blah. Oh, mix in one sci-fi convention to hide the "alien assassin" that is chasing them in addition to the clueless mobsters and eeeevil government operatives. Speaking of eeeevil government operatives, they get to throw in a line about the Patriot Act just to show how eeeeeeevil they truly are. Ah, Hollywood.
I guess I forgot to mention the love interest that was foreshadowed earlier in the movie and tags along after the Sci-fi Convention but to me the movie was dragging a safe from that point on so it hardly seemed necessary to highlight her role.
My rating of the film is based upon the post-movie comments my children had about it. On the way home their conversation revolved around cheese and crackers.
Race to Witch Mountain trailer
Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) ending