Director: Andy Fickman Runtime: 98 minutes Links: IMDB As Dwayne Johnson’s Jack Bruno drives a Winnebago in search of a spaceship that holds the key to the survival of Earth in Walt Disney Pictures’ “Race to Witch Mountain,” he tells a female sitting shotgun about his dream of legitimately owning a 1968 Ford Mustang that is similar to the one Steve McQueen drove in “Bullitt.” Much to Jack’s dismay, that passenger, played by the always excellent Carla Gugino, admits to never having seen “Bullitt,” which is probably best known for having one of the most influential car chase sequences in the history of cinema. Well, you can sure tell that scene had a tremendous impact on director Andy Fickman as well because “Race to Witch Mountain” certainly makes full use of the only verb in its title. Fickman, who also worked with Johnson in 2007’s “The Game Plan,” has crammed his film with so many vehicle chases that you might find yourself wishing your theater chair had a seat belt. Sitting in the driver’s seat for a majority of these pedal to the metal scenes is Johnson’s Bruno, an ex-con who is trying to turn his life around as a Las Vegas cab driver. A Nationwide advertisement on top of Bruno’s cab uses the tag line “Life comes at you fast,” and he learns the full meaning of this phrase when teenage siblings Sara (AnnaSophia Robb, who looks like a young Lindsay Lohan) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig of 2006’s “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising”) mysteriously show up in his back seat with a huge wad of cash. The teens, who speak in a weird, robotic-type tone, convince Jack to take them to an isolated location in the middle of the desert, but before they know it they become the target of a secret government organization led by the malefic Henry Burke (Ciarán Hinds) and a seemingly indestructible assassin who happens to be an extraterrestrial. Sick and tired of being left in the dark, Jack demands answers from his two passengers, who begrudgingly reveal that they are actually aliens with special powers. Seth, who doesn’t trust humans farther than he can throw them, has the ability to control his molecular density, and Sara, who believes Bruno will turn out to be a faithful ally, can read people’s minds and move objects with hers. Having little time to spare, Seth and Sara — with some help from Jack and discredited astrophysicist Dr. Alex Friedman (Gugino) — must find their ship before it’s too late and return home with a device that’s crucial to saving both their planet and Earth. “Race to Witch Mountain” might lack some of the charm that made its predecessors — 1975’s “Escape to Witch Mountain” and 1978’s “Return to Witch Mountain” — so special and memorable, but this edition will probably fare better with today’s audiences because of its fast-paced action and special effects, as well as an entertaining performance from the charismatic Johnson, a former WWE wrestler known as The Rock. Those who regularly watched The Brahma Bull lay the smackdown on his foes in the wrestling ring should be fully aware of how intimidating he can be, but he also has great comedic timing and some of the more amusing scenes in “Race to Witch Mountain” involve Johnson exchanging banter with his two younger co-stars. (The dialogue does get a little corny at times, but that is something you should expect with a family-friendly film.) Johnson may get top billing in “Race to Witch Mountain,” but the real star of the movie is its high-octane action, which rarely lets up once the opening credits hit the screen. You'll see no shortage of car chases, explosions or UFOs whipping through the sky, and there is a strong chance the little ones could get nightmares from the menacing alien assassin who was sent to Earth to exterminate Seth and Sara. But as rousing as the action scenes are, one of the things that left a bad taste in my mouth was the CGI which gets a little sloppy here and there, this isn't something you wouldn’t expect from a company like Disney. But I am willing to bet the problems I have with “Race to Witch Mountain” will not matter much to the younger generation, who is the PG-rated film’s real target audience. I realize “Race to Witch Mountain” was not made for older viewers like myself and I doubt I would ever pay for a ticket to see it in the theaters, but if Fickman’s sole mission was to create a film that will keep children thoroughly enthralled, then it’s safe to say he easily achieved his goal. Rating: 6/10