Monday, March 23, 2009

A Nice Popcorn Movie – Race to Witch Mountain

Although it’s just a quite predictable popcorn movie, Race to Witch Mountain is still quite good because it has tried its best to be as good as possible, with the routine story and not-so-strong cast. Compared to the disappointing Dragon Ball and Street Fighters, it just earned itself some applaud.

Such a “ppl on Earth helped E.T.s to go back home” story is really nothing new to Hollywood, and obviously “The Rock” is not a match for Keanu Reeves in the sense of exploiting some complicated roles. So it’s quite natural that this movie took the other route to the box office, -- visual effects.

The car racing is not new either, but the scene that Seth (Alexander Ludwig) “crashed” an SUV into parts and pieces with his E.T. body is quite refreshing. Now we have a clear understanding of what a “crumple zone” is. We shall also admire that yellow submarine, for it could still running at 140mph after being crunched by 3 SUVs! One thing pity is that the deadly race of one taxi, one train and one UFO in the tunnel (look at this combination!) was just too plain.

Another impressive scene is when all four main roles (Seth, Sara, Jack & Alex) were hand-in-hand standing in front of the UFO to “stop” the bullets. We did see that recently in Push, but here you can see how a bullet is slowly distorted and finally turns into just a small piece of metal. Again, the staff did whatever they could to polish this movie.

The writers also did a good job, esp when the big story had been set to such “old” topics like environment, government plot, etc. Quite some wise and funny lines appear here and there, making the whole movie not that boring.

But the two E.T. teenagers, Seth and Sara (AnnaSophia Robb), were nothing but “typical” teenagers. When you compare them to Dakota Fanning in Push, you will know the difference between “children actors” and “genius children actors”. Neither did I find anything exciting in The Rock (as Jack the taxi driver) or Jack’s girl Alex (Carla Gugino) – basically these two roles are just guardians of the under-aged.

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