The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a fantasy adventure film released this year that is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Jon Turteltaub, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It’s basically the same team that did the National Treasure franchise. Parts of the story are loosely based on the Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment in Disney’s Fantasia, which in turn is based on the late 1890s symphonic poem by Paul Dukas and the 1797 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ballad.
I have to be honest here. When I saw the trailer for this movie I thought “this looks awful” but I had a few friends of mine tell me that I’d be surprised if I went and saw it. So yesterday Bri and I decided to see it yesterday for $1.50 each (dollar theater raised the price lol).
How was it? Let me tell you..
In 740 AD, one of Merlin’s apprentices, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), joins forces with the evil sorceress Morgana le Fay, betraying Merlin. Morgana mortally wounds Merlin before his other apprentices, Balthazar Black (Nicolas Cage) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci), can stop her. After a battle, Morgana’s soul is trapped within Veronic and Balthazar is forced to seal them into the Gimhold, a prison similar to a nesting doll. Before dying, Merlin gives his remaining apprentice a dragon ring that will choose the Prime Merlinian, who will become Merlin’s successor. Only the Prime Merlinian will be able to defeat Morgana. Throughout history Balthazar imprisons Morganians, sorcerers who try to release Morgana, including his ex-friend Horvath, into successive layers on the Grimhold while he searches for the successor.
This person turns out to be a boy named Dave Stutler and after an event, Horvath is released from his prison. The rest of the movie is basically Horvath trying to get his hands on the Grimhold and release Morgana so that she can finish what she started all those years ago. Balthazar must get Dave to believe in his destiny and prepare him for the final battle.
As it is, the plot is pretty cliche. You have a boy who turns out to be “the chosen one” — the only one that’s able to defeat the big bad. You have the mentor (Cage’s character) who tries to get the boy to follow his destiny. And you have the bad guys, who just want to do evil. Why? Well, the movie does explain why Horvath turned evil, but it doesn’t really explain why Morgana wants to enslave the human race beyond just I’m evil, it’s what I do. Overall though, it’s fast paced and even though it’s cliche it’s still interesting enough to not put you to sleep.
As mentioned it’s fast paced. Good lord. The movie just throws you right into it at the beginning. It also has some comedy bits (heck, Horvath basically does a Jedi Mind Trick at one point and the movie acknowledges that that’s exactly what they were referencing). Furthermore since the movie is based on that Fantasia segment by the same name, they directly reference it. There’s a part where Dave makes the mops and brooms come to life to try and clean his lab. It’s basically a direct homage to that and I thought that was pretty cool (even though it’s been 15+ years since I’ve seen that segment I recognized it immediately). The special effects were decent. Magic itself was explained to be more scientific (manipulating molecules vs DERR IT’S JUST MAGIC! NO REASON FOR IT!).
It IS kind of cliche. You know how it’s going to end, you just don’t know how they’re going to get there. Honestly, I know what Jay Baruchel was going for but I didn’t really like the way he acted through most of the film. He was going for the awkward nerd kind of approach but it just irked me. Half the time I was wondering if he was trying to act more like Cage in some of his other films. The romance subplot is kind of forced in some parts also.
I really can’t think of anything to go here at the moment.
Unrelated but I didn’t recognize Alfred Molina. It was his voice that gave him away to me. I really like that guy when he plays villains. He does a good job at it.
Overall though, I was pleasantly surprised at the movie. It was actually quite enjoyable for me. I’ll give it a 3 1/2 stars out of 5 (only because of Jay Baruchel’s awkward acting in some parts).
I’d recommend maybe renting it or seeing it in a dollar theater like we did. Honestly, though, I’ll probably end up getting it on DVD at some point.