The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

2 Aug

Title: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Year: 2010
Director: John Turteltaub
Writers: Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard and Matt Lopez based on the screen story by Matt Lopez, Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Monica Bellucci, Teresa Palmer
MPAA Rating: PG, fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor and brief language
Runtime: 111 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 41%

My main problem with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was it’s running time, I think it could have done with a good fifteen or so minutes less, that way we could have stay charmed by its rather likable cast and pretty damn splendid special effects, but by having it run for so long you see through its flaws, the main one being that it pretty much has no plot at all, all it has is a nice enough premise that has been dismantled into a mindless amount of clichés. However, I must say I didn’t dislike The Sorcerer’s Apprentice at all, I mean, yes, it wasn’t great, but I really liked what they did with the CGI, and I think the eccentricity shown by Nicolas Cage and Alfred Molina in their performances was fun to watch.

I must now note another thing, which is the commercial side of this film, it’s being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer who, as I noted in my review of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has been in a bit of slump as far as churning out huge blockbusters like he usually did, and such is the case with this one, too, it’s been out now for a couple of weeks and its gross revenue stands at less than $100 million even though its production budget carried a $150 million pricetag, so this one’s not enchanting audiences either, and that’s why these films are made, to lure in huge audiences into seeing these (most times) over-marketed action-comedy films, audiences mostly comprised of kiddies and their parents and young teenagers, audiences who don’t care for plot nearly as much as they do for huge special effects, and the fact that these sort of films have been underperforming as of late is I think, something great, it proves that audiences are now getting smarter, opting for films like Inception which, as I write this, is on its way to be the number one film at the box office for the third straight weekend. Now, huge mindless blockbuster’s are far from extinct, Twilight and Transformers will still do huge business when they roll out their next installments, but I’m just saying that audiences seem to be maturing, and I love that.

The fact that the best part of this film is the one that comes from the segment of Fantasia this one was inspired from goes to tell you how uninspired it really is, and even that part isn’t nearly as great as the original segment from Fantasia remains to be. Jay Baruchel is Dave, who when he was a kid was seen at a weird sort of store by Balthazar, the sorcerer played by Nicolas Cage. Balthazar, you see, was left by the famous wizard Merlin to guard the two most evil forces in the universe, which he had managed to lock up, and Balthazar in turn saw in Dave the potential to maybe become the next Merlin, or at least a pretty kickass sorcerer. But then Balthazar leaves Dave to guard the place where the two where locked up, which was this sort of toy prison, and of course Dave would be curious to see why a toy prison needed guarding, so he opened it and the two evil forces, Morgana and Horvath, were out again.

The thing, though, is that that’s about it as far as plot, and then the rest is just special effects. As I already said, I really loved the special effects, I thought they were really well done and there were some smart ideas around many of them, and they are the sole reason I found myself enjoying the film, but the film was far too long for us not to care about there not being any more scenes with substance, so it lost some of its magic. But I will say that kids twelve and under will certainly have a kick out The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, they will eat up the effects like crazy and will love it that Dave was just a kid their own age when he was first seen by Balthazar who even then thought he had potential to become a sorcerer, so those kid should definitely go see this one, more so when you consider that The Last Airbender, an infinitely worse film, has made $70 million more than this one, so yeah, if you want cool effects just go to this one instead, please.

Grade: B-


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