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Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (July, 2010)

Director: John TurtelTaub
Screenplay: Lawrence Konner, approved Mark Rosenthal, ed Matt Lopez
Release Date: July 14, 2010
Actors: Nicholas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Teresa Palmer, Alfred Molina, Monica Bellaluci

As a fan of Fantasia’s Mickey Mouse’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I was hoping on a good tale that would do Mickey Mouse justice. Truthfully, I don’t remember the original tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, so I can’t say if this movie is faithful to the story. Director John Turteltaub, who also directed the action adventure National Treasure, as well as the television series Jericho, comes back with Nicholas Cage for the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as the Sorcerer Balthazar. The Apprentice, who stars the likeable star of Jay Baruchel (She’s Out of My League, but has the unfortunate trait of sounding like Christian Slater) is, in current day, the awkward brainiac nerd that loves physics.

Centuries ago, Merlin (yes, THAT wizard) had three apprentices – Veronica, Balthazar and Horvath, who protected Merlin from Morgana (the evil sorceress) and to prevent Morgana from raising the dead and take over the world. Unfortunately for Merlin, both Balthazar and Horvath fell in love with Veronica, causing a huge rift between Horvath and Balthazar as Veronica fell in love with Balthazar. With his apprentices out of harmony, Merlin is slain at the hand of Morgana with the help of Horvath. Veronica ends up taking Morgana’s soul into hers, but is not able to contain her. Balthazar, in his hopes in keeping Veronica alive, captures them both into the Grimhold (Russian like doll), locking them there until he is able to find the next Prime Merlinean who is able to defeat Morgana. Years pass, and he finds David Statter.

The film delivers on laughter, action and story, as one would hope from a Disney film. There is something about Jay Baruchel just makes him likeable. Here, as he did in She’s Out of My League, he plays the geek who is trying to find confidence in himself and his role in the world. Having had a crush on pretty little Becky when he was younger, he finds himself finding her once again, studying at NYU and again, crushing on him as he did when he was just a kid. Teresa Palmer, who plays Becki almost reminds me of Alice Eve in She’s Out of My League, perfect, and out of reach. This threw me off for a little bit, but I quickly readjusted my brain to the “magic frequency”. I quite liked the little homage to Fantasia, which, when you see it, will immediately recognize.

The little magic tricks that are used in the film are fun, and funny. When Dave first starts learning magic tricks, he has to pad himself to prevent himself from getting injured by the magic balls and flames that Balthazar throw at him, it garnered several laughs from me.

I don’t think it’s anywhere close to being as horrible as the critics have been saying. It’s much better than Avatar the Last Airbender, and I’d say I enjoyed it better than the earlier Percy Jackson and the Olympian Lightning Thief. I thought it was fun family fare. It could have been a lot better, but for what it was, I thought it was pretty good. Nicholas Cage as the kooky Balthazar seemed to fit perfectly, and the chemistry he had with Jay Baruchel was effective.

I would definitely recommend taking the family to seeing this one. Recommended! Fun Summer fare, 3 Rings / 5 Rings


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