Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is starting to become a household name within the film business. After his main success of being WWE star The Rock he turned his attention to Hollywood and stared in The Mummy Returns and a prequel spinoff The Scorpion King. He now has a few films under his belt and Dwayne Johnson is starting to become a name that brings people into the films he stars in. After the success of The Gameplan with Disney, he has once again teamed up with them to star in Race to Witch Mountain.
Race to Witch Mountain is based on two previous films called funnily enough Escape from Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain. Race to Witch Mountain grossed an amazing $106 million at the box office worldwide which is a fair return for a film of this calibre.
Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) is a Las Vegas cab driver who agrees to drive and help Sara & Seth (AnnaSophia Robb & Alexander Ludwig) for a large sum of money. But as the story continues and we learn more about the characters, the viewers discover that they are really extraterrestrial beings on the run from the government. Jack has problems of his own which are not known and this is seen as the plot thickens. He is then forced to decide between his own interests and those of the children. As he gets deeper into the action he enlists the help of a scientist called Alex Friedman. The two of them together must then help Sara & Seth escape back to their own planet.
Race to Witch Mountain is very fast paced energy driven storyline. There is never really a moments rest and there is always something going on. The action is typical for a children’s audience with no over the top stuff or too much detail. As mentioned before there is always a lot going on in this film and can be hard to keep up with at times. It’s nice to also see a little comedy as well without getting into much silliness although there are very few comedic reliefs. There are some action scenes in this film that should keep your children’s and your own attention, the film can be engaging. Disney has mainly set this as a family film for everyone and this is where it delivers. This is the sort of film you will put on a Sunday evening to just sit back and relax with the family and enjoy. Dwayne Johnson delivers his role as usual and the supporting cast also play their parts well.
I personally enjoyed the movie but I took it for what it is. I can see some older audiences not enjoying this as much for its slap stick adventure journey with its blend of sci-fi action. But then again what can you really expect from a Disney movie? I am not saying they are not good just simply stating that they are family oriented and that’s what you should expect. If you have children I recommend this film and I can also say you will enjoy watching it with them as well.
Disney has used an MPEG-4 AVC 1080p encode framed at 2:39:1 for this film. I can’t quite put my finger on the transfer of this film. For a studio that has delivered some of the best looking Blu-rays I have seen, I was rather disappointed with this transfer. Not to say that this is a bad transfer it has some great shots which look outstanding in the daylight scenes where contrast is strong. Grain is prominent in the film but is healthy and detail is also crisp and clear but it’s when the film is shot at night skin tones look muddy and it’s sometimes hard to make out items in the film. There is notable edge enhancement in the film but it is not a major distraction. Overall I think Disney has done a good enough job for this film, but I wouldn’t class it as a traditional Disney transfer.
Disney has used a 5.1 DTS HD soundtrack with Race to Witch Mountain and I have to say it does not disappoint, it’s not reference material audio, but for Race to Witch Mountain it suits perfectly. Background noises are good and you can hear every part of the dialogue which is crisp and clear. The audio track picks up during the chase scenes in the film, which adds something to the film and makes it shine. Action scenes are where it picks up and explosions really get the bass working. It’s nice to see Disney doing a good job with the audio and using a DTS soundtrack.
I have to say for such a new release I was surprised there was very small amount of extras on the disc and for this I’m very disappointed. I was going to give this 1/5 for the extras, but Disney decided to include a digital copy and DVD with this Blu-ray release. The extras that are included on the disc are Director’s introduction with deleted scenes and bloopers reel these are both in SD and will last no longer then 30 minutes. Also included is an exclusive backstage short where the director reveals various references to the previous films made. The main stand out point is the inclusion of a DVD and digital copy. I feel Disney included this only to make up for the lack of extras, but even with these two included this section remain very lacklustre to say the least.
Race to Witch Mountain is a great family adventure film and Disney does not disappoint there. This will keep most children entertained through its 98 minute run time. It also has a little something for the adults as well to keep you watching the film. The picture and audio quality is up to scratch. The only downside is the extras but the inclusion of a digital copy and a DVD can come in handy with small children. This is a great family film and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson really shines in his role as Jack Bruno. It has laughs and adventures and if you have kids I recommend picking this up, if you don’t have kids I recommend giving it a rent first. With that said I’m giving this an overall 3.5/5.