Film / Race to Witch Mountain

Sara: "My brother and I... We are not from your planet."
Jack: "Well you don't look like aliens."
Sara: "What does an alien look like?"
Jack: "You know what aliens look like! They're little green people with antennas and "Take me to your leader, Earthlings!"

Race to Witch Mountain is a 2009 Disney action film starring Dwayne Johnson. It is a remake/reboot of the Witch Mountain movies from The '70s (Escape To, Return To, and Beyond) The story consists of two aliens (who look just like humans) crash landing on Earth. The Government takes their ship to a top-secret research facility, Witch Mountain. From there the two aliens, Seth and Sara, hail a cab, brandish a large wad of money, and tell the driver, Jack Bruno, to go "that way". The three quickly find themselves in a race to reach Witch Mountain to recover the spaceship and escape, all while evading the forces of government agent Burke and the Siphon, a dangerous alien assassin assigned to eliminate the twins.

This film includes examples of:

  • Alien Abduction: Subverted. In this case, it is the aliens who are captured (by humans).
  • Aliens Speaking English: Albeit Spock Speak.
  • Alternate Continuity: The planet in the original book was destroyed due their binary star system.
  • Are We There Yet?: "good in any universe".
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: How Dr. Friedman cleared the area where the spaceship was being stored and studied.
  • Black Site: Witch Mountain.
  • The Cameo: "Not now, Whitley!"
  • Continuity Nod: Dr. Harlan's Winnebago recalls Jason O'Day's vehicle in the original movie.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Escaping the exhaust vent fire.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Jack Bruno. At least he's attractive.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Siphon doesn't exactly fall to his death - he falls into the exhaust port of the kids' spaceship and is disintegrated.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: The Siphon was sent by parts of the kids' home world's government that don't want them succeed and isn't operating of its own accord. Despite this, we see next to nothing of whoever sent the thing, making the Siphon the main villain of the film.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Jack. Justified as part of his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Witch Mountain.
  • Everything Is Online: The Government can pull up every Magical Security Cam in Las Vegas in just a few seconds.
  • Expy: The Siphon is basically a Predator. Their masks and even their faces beneath the masks look alike. It also bears an uncanny resemblance to a Kull Warrior.
  • Five Rounds Rapid: The alien assassin hunter just stands there for an entire fight scene with the military as bullets ineffectually bounce off his armor. Nobody thinks to get a bigger gun.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: With the flying saucer.
  • Flying Saucer: The design of the kid's spaceship.
  • Gilligan Cut: After the dog enter the cab there's a scene where Sara says that the dog "needs to go" and it ends like this:
    Jack: "... conversation with a dog(!) so my answer is still no."
    Cue the scene where the dog comes back from where he had to go.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Nor does anyone seem to have wondered why the guards who were supposed to remove Jack and Alex from the facility never checked back in.
  • Human Aliens: Seth and Sara, and presumably the rest of their species.
  • I Have Brothers: Dr. Friedman's explanation of how she punched out a scientist.
  • Hot Scientist: Dr. Friedman
  • Implacable Man: The Siphon. Nothing does anything more than slow it down and it tracks the cast down no matter where they are. It takes being thrown into the exhaust port of the kid's saucer to take it out.
  • In-Name-Only: Has almost nothing in common with the original 1968 novel Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key except for the "Witch Mountain" name and two human-looking children who are actually alien in origin.
  • Inspector Javert: Henry Burke. The man brings a hefty amount of overkill (in the form of various cars full of agents) in his chase after the kids even before he knows that they have powers and follows the mentality that because they are aliens they are a threat that needs to be contained and experimented on, and even if nobody ever explains to him that letting them go would allow them to prevent an Alien Invasion, it's really hard to tell whether or not he would have ended up dismissing it as a lie and not care.
  • Intangible Man: Seth
  • Inventional Wisdom: The Flame Throwing Air Vent
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Jack Bruno does just that.
  • Manly Tears: Jack Bruno at the ending where he says goodbye to the children; Dwayne Johnson is more willing to be openly sentimental than his predecessors Schwarzenegger and Stallone.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Sara reads Jack's thoughts concerning Dr. Friedman
  • 90% of Your Brain: the kids explain that Earthlings are capable of telekinesis too and don't because "you don't use your full brain capacity".
  • Papa Wolf: Jack Bruno
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: Human Alien Seth increases his density just before a car hits him, causing it to smash against his body without harming him.
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: No limit is really set as to how often the children can use their powers. Because of this, it isn't made particularly clear why the bounty hunter is a threat to them when Seth can become an Intangible Man and actually apply this power to people he's in contact with. On the other hand, the Siphon was created by their home world, so they probably know more about it than we do.
    • The villains have this when an SUV full of four presumably armed government agents just sit there while Jack threatens them with a tire iron. They let him go unquestioned.
    • How about the way the entire main cast hugged the Idiot Ball. The children and Bruno and especially Dr. Friedman. They have multiple chances face to face with Brurke exactly why it would be an excellent idea to let them return to their own planet and stop the alien invasion. For that matter, if one were government agent who has found aliens with interstellar capability have landed in my balliwick, one should do everything in your power to try and initiate a friendly non-threatening contact. Drugging them and threatening them with guns, not so much.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Burke's people go after the cab. They don't use their godlike government powers to have the dispatch call the cab and ask Jack to stop for the government people.
    • Burke does it again in the small town. He brings in a small army to capture the aliens but doesn't contact the local sheriff and law enforcement to assist.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: The children in this movie are vastly overpowered compared to the originals in the Alexander Key novel.
  • Product Placement: Jack's cab has a Nationwide Insurance sign on top, which remains pristine throughout the film.
  • Puny Earthlings: Seth and Sara have Psychic Powers
  • Remake Cameo: Kim Richards (Tina the waitress) and Ike Eisenmann (Sherriff Antony), who played the kids (Tia and Tony) in the original Escape To Witch Mountain
  • Save the Villain: During the final fight sequence, Jack looks like he's about to do this to the Siphon. He then winks at it and punches it in the face, causing the Siphon to fall into the exhaust port and die.
  • Sequel Hook
  • Shout-Out:
    • At the convention in Vegas, there are people present cosplaying as characters from Star Wars and TRON.
    • A TV news reporter, played by Meredith Salenger, named "Natalie Gann."
  • Spock Speak: Seth and Sara
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Burke says to his team as they walk up to the restaurant that he wants all the exits covered. Everyone on his team files into the restaurant behind him, thus getting held up. When Jack and the kids escape the top of the building, there's no one at the back entrance.
    • And again in Witch Mountain. The high tech facility has no surveillance on the ventilation shafts.
  • They Would Cut You Up
  • Those Two Guys: Two of the scientists, bumbler and straight man.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee
  • Viva Las Vegas!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Treating the 90% of Your Brain line as a Chekhov's Lecture, Sara gives Jack a 'parting gift' by apparently touching a hand to his head... we never see what effect this had.
    • For those of us who actually paid attention to the scene, we notice that Sara's last words before she left didn't actually include her mouth moving.