Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer's Apprentice. - synopsis from IMDB
action, fantasy, crime
Directed by Jon Turteltaub.
Rated 6.1 on IMDB from 129618 votes.
Runtime: 109 min.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has an age requirement of 9 here in The Netherlands, which is a fair indication of the kind of movie you can expect for a fantasy-teach-a-young-guy-magic-to-save-the-world setup. If that didn’t tip you off, what exactly were you expecting with Cage in the lead role and Bruckheimer financing this Disney adventure? No, this is not a grown-up fantasy tale and makes no pretense to be anyway. Actually, it’s pretty enjoyable the way it is.
In rather predictable fashion, the storyline is unidirectional and highly unoriginal. There is also very little time spent learning about the people involved. Boy has magic powers, old dude has been looking for him through the ages, boy wants to live his miserable life instead of save the world from now barely contained in her prison black witch and boy meets cute girl in the process.
Ironically, while this movie is obviously intended not to impress you too much, it’s still better than the average Harry Potter churn-out. I’ll let you determine which one of the two that is more telling for.
“Why”, you ask? Simply because, despite the lack of originality, the fantasy elements such as the history and magic system are still somewhat believable. Maybe not convincing enough for your (or my) taste, but certainly not as desperate and painfully plain as Potter’s. And in case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t read the Potter books. That doesn’t mean I’m not opinionated about it, of course. Artefacts (in this case rings), power limitations and balances, magicians’ education and a general sense of human character quirks interwoven into the storyline make this a good effort. As far as that goes in a blockbuster movie.
If you’re not a big Cage fan, this movie is not going to change your mind. Again, he fails to come across as anything other than simply flat and passive. This actually fits the movie as a whole, since this next installment from Bruckheimer betrays a certain level of routine in producing this kind of movies. While not a total waste of your time, you won’t even remember The Sorcerer’s Apprentice when shopping for Christmas gifts.
Seen: 25 Aug 2010
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