Race to Witch Mountain

Rated 2.0

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays a Las Vegas cab driver hired by extraterrestrial teenagers (AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig) on the run from both the American government and their own. Not that kids in the audience necessarily will know or care that Alexander Key’s 1968 novel, Escape to Witch Mountain, already became a Disney movie of the same name in 1975 and spawned both a sequel, 1978’s Return From Witch Mountain, and a TV remake in 1995. But their parents probably will, and probably won’t appreciate just how perfunctory and cynically commercial this film seems by comparison to its own relatives. Whatever; you can munch popcorn to it. Notwithstanding a few key action sequences in which clunky direction, chintzy special effects and desperately cosmetic editing all try to conceal each other’s shortcomings, writers Matt Lopez and Mark Bomback, with director Andy Fickman, have seasoned this empty-calorie feast for easy digestion.