Lots of magic left! Race to Witch Mountain movie review

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It's a long standing warning amongst actors: never share the stage with kids or animals! Good thing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson isn't following that advice because the formula works for him and for you, too, in his latest feature "Race to Witch Mountain." A remake of a Disney classic, this latest version proves there's still plenty of good old fashioned Disney magic left for today's families.

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The movie opens with the crash landing of a mysterious object from deep space. The military quickly descends upon the site, scooping up every bit of debris it can find. Meanwhile, in nearby Las Vegas, Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) is grudgingly driving UFO conventioneers in his taxi.

There are the usual costumed whack jobs but he also ferries an attractive doctor/scientist type (Carla Gugino), who in spite of her intelligent demeanor, will be speaking at the convention. But then, Jack picks up his most unusual customers or rather he finds two unusual customers in the back of his taxi. Two strange, tow-headed kids (AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig) need a ride out to the middle of the desert and they have a wad of cash to get them there. Before you know it, Jack is thrust into a high stakes cat and mouse game with him and the kids being the mice and a terminating alien and men in black being the hungry cats.

You won't find any Oscar worthy performances here but everybody, from cute kids to one dimensional military thugs (Ciaran Hinds), plays their part well. Especially Dwayne Johnson. He has good chemistry with the kids and is fun to watch whether he's flexing his big guns or not. While the action scenes stretch the limits of credibility, they are perfect rollercoaster fare for kids. And kudos to Disney for not skimping out on the special effects. Some are very special indeed.

As a UFO conspiracy buff, I found lots of little tidbits hidden for any discerning adult to be an unexpected bonus. Hey, even "Communion's" Whitney Strieber makes a cameo appearance! And if there was an award for best product placement, a sign for Nationwide would easily win hands down. After a harrowing chase scene where Jack outruns military spooks, a speeding locomotive and a UFO, it was pretty funny to see his badly battered taxi pull up with a "Life Comes at You Fast" sign perched on top! Pure tongue-in-cheek Disney genius!

"Race to Witch Mountain" is definitely a kid's movie but more than that, it's a movie the whole family really will enjoy together.

Race to Witch Mountain taxis in with 3 Red Vines for being a fun ride

LADIES ROOM LOWDOWN: The kids in the audience loved this movie. There were plenty of giggles of delight throughout!