I loathe trailers that make a point to cause people to go see a terrible movie, having made it look good. I’m not going to say that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice looked amazing, but I thought I was going to be in for a treat. Rather sadly, this was not the case. Despite Nicholas Cage, who having decided to take on any role thrust in his general direction, does not help the movie terribly, even with a new hairdo.
The premise of the movie revolves around Balthazar Blake (Cage), one of three apprentices to Merlin, who’s been trying to find the next great wizard. Incidentally, the force for good he has been searching for is none other than everyman Dave (Jay Baruchel). From there you have Cage training Baruchel in magic in order to combat the forces of darkness, which in this movie takes the guise of Alfred Molina.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice doesn’t work for a variety of reasons, but namely boredom. I’m not sure if the filmmakers knew what sort of audience they were targeting this movie to, and the confusion shows. At moments we’re presented with childish antics that make you groan in misery, while these times are juxtaposed with serious happenings and reasonably decent action sequences. Additionally, you’re waiting for the movie to end, not because it’s completely awful, but because after a while, to care about the characters or what’s happening becomes frustratingly difficult. Even more annoying is the fact that we become subject to two rather trite love stories that have no business being in the movie and I blame Disney for this.
I’m not entirely positive as to what I was hoping for when I walked into a PG movie starring Nicholas Cage about magic, but this wasn’t it exactly. Sure, the special effects are decent and some of the ways that magic is used pretty creative, but even so. On the plus side I did appreciate how the script tried to show how magic and science are not incredibly different from one another. This is somewhat reminiscent of Thor comics, in where it comes to light that Thor is not an actual god, but our ancestors simply thought of him as a god, when in fact he comes from a highly advanced society that has managed to combine science and magic. I was also quite the fan of Jay Baruchel, as his quirky demeanor makes him a likable protagonist in any movie he is in. Not having been around in the film business for that long, Baruchel has started to make a name for himself and for fairly good reason: he’s not a bad actor.
Somewhere towards the end of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice the screenwriter, director, and anyone else with a marginal amount of authority, seemed to have forgotten that they were making a movie about magic and instead chose to give us scenes that look like they were taking directly from Dragon Ball Z. Now if I was watching the anime then I wouldn’t care, but I wasn’t and I find it hard to believe I’m the only one who caught this. On the plus side, the movie is true to its Disney roots for a scene in which we get dancing brooms and yes, dancing brooms do help make The Sorcerer’s Apprentice faithful to its origin.