It’s always something else to see a revitalization of an older movie you saw in your childhood. For me, it was seeing a movie I knew was old when I was a child. Now, though, seeing a different version, revitalizing the series, I’m happy I let my curiosity get the better of me many times as a child when it came to movies. This movie alludes to the “Escape from Witch Mountain” and “Return to Witch Mountain” movies for the late 1970’s. While the movie quickly establishes its tone as a Sci-fi comedy/action, it gives you enough ambiguity to still be guessing at what will be happening, even with the knowledge from the trailers. Those who do go in blind will find it enjoyable as will those who know even a bit about it. It makes a very good action movie for older children who can appreciate sci-fi.

The movie stars Dwayne Johnson, Ciaran Hinds, Carla Gugino, Anna-Sophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig in the leading roles. Dwayne is known for his action roles and can do good physical comedy as well. The entire cast seemed to hit very well into their roles. Dwayne plays a cabbie in Las Vegas, Jack Bruno, working on ferrying people to a UFO convention happening at Planet Hollywood at the time. Ciaran Hinds plays Henry Burke plays the head of an agency investigating the extraterrestrial beings. Carla Gugino plays Dr. Alex Friedman, an Astrophysicist in town for the UFO convention to talk on the possibility of life on other planets. Anna-Sophia Robb and Alex Ludwig play Sara and Seth respectively, our other-worldly visitors.

While things seem to show everyday life with only hints at something of being a sci-fi movie, the pace picks up very well. We learn about John Bruno and his work history, setting up some anticipation for future scenes (which is well merited). Each person essentially has something of an intro where the viewers learn about them and their basic role. Every character has some sort of motive for getting involved with each other, even if the viewer has nothing more to work with than fate or destiny (or chaos theory). Someone we think will cut and run has genuine concern and is a very reliable person underneath it all. Most people seem to be who they are on the surface though.

Easily, of the whole cast, I found Sara and Seth the most interesting and usually humorous. While they appear teenagers, they use very precise vocabulary, being very sophisticated yet completely comprehensible to anyone who lacks such a vocabulary. They don’t show what many would assume to be the typical misunderstanding of our idioms, cutting down the potential of miscommunication. They might be very proper and more controlled than most of the human cast, but its just that which helps make them very engaging and relatable. Seriously, it’s hard to top having the girl talk to and convince a dog to come along and help them. It’s easy to appreciate how they look at human nature and see our good qualities that we can easily overlook sometimes.

This movie was a pleasure to watch and just enjoy. Knowing I was going to review it, I kept a critical thought in my head. It’s important to just enjoy the movie and look at the fundamental message this movie has. That people change and there is goodness that can help us topple even insurmountable odds. The movie ends well enough and it’s worth watching at least the opening portion of the closing credits for the hint at the next movie. This is one movie I would definitely go see again.




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