(In theaters, March 2009) I have no knowledge of the original book/films, so never mind me when I say that this often smells like a moldy old remnant from the Close Encounters of the Third Kind era. The problems start at the source, I guess: As Science Fiction, this “kid alien must fight the government return to their flying saucer” is so trite and basic it barely qualifies as SF. It seems radically out of context nowadays, and it’s the rare flashes of self-awareness from the script that make it all tolerable. Dwayne Johnson makes a capable protagonist, but there’s little that’s distinctive here, and that stands for the film as a whole: Not terrible, but hardly memorable, although some vocabulary choices, overall level of violence and a generally cynical world-view in which kids are taught to trust ex-cons against the government may push the limits of the genre’s kiddy-creds. The script is generally too dumb for adults, while pushing action a tad too far for the kids; who knows who’s left to watch? Despite some older-skewing gags here and there, the linear plotting is definitely for the kids. Among amusing gags to watch for is a cameo by Whitley Strieber. Otherwise, well, it’s a film headed straight for cultural amnesia.