Synopsis: A master Sorcerer recruits a seemingly normal guy to help him defend New York City against his arch-nemesis.
Release Date: July 14, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Fantasy, Action
Laden with a heavy backstory of sorcery and age old feuds The Sorcerer’s Apprentice pays far too much attention on young romance to keep the momentum going and viewer invested. Many centuries ago the magician Merlin had three apprentices. He was betrayed by one, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), who teamed up with his greatest foe, Morgana, to end his reign and conquer the world. They were thwarted by the other two apprentices, Balthazar (Nicholas Cage) and Veronica (Monica Belluci). Upon Merlin’s death he bestowed his magicians ring upon Balthazar and foretold the coming of a great sorcerer who would one day rid the earth of Morgana once and for all. Balthazar has spent many years searching and when he finds this soon to be great sorcerer it is by chance, or even fate. The heir to Merlin’s power is none other than a geeky college kid by the name of Dave (Jay Baruchel) who specializes in physics. This part of the story is fun and held great potential. Especially the physics angle as sorcery is defined as science and magic, a key element in the finale of the film.
Watching Balthazar train Dave, with some success and many bumps along the way, gets you in the mood for the impending fight between good and evil. There are some great scenes of magic being conjured and small battles between other sorcerers. As well as remarks on history that will interest anyone with a penchant for witches and wizards. Then the film takes a turn and introduces a love interest for Dave. The introduction of this B-story does nothing to support the main plot and instead detracts the viewer from the enjoyment that was watching Dave become the sorcerer he was born to be. You desire more along the lines of training and magical doings, you do not wish to see an awkward teenager arrange a date. Bringing in the love interest for Dave is an obvious choice by the screenwriters as it tests Dave’s commitment to the role of apprentice. It was not handled in a way to where we care whether he gets the girl or not. The real connection here, and the relationship that could have used more development, is the one between Balthazar and Dave. Their potential for a strong bond exists from the moment they meet, and they have a great master-apprentice chemistry going on at all times. More of the two of them and a stronger focus on the magic would have made this a really enjoyable film. Instead it passes as mediocre, neither boring or exciting.
Quality vs. quantity is at play in this film. Special Effects are apparent throughout but they are simplified and subdued. You have one sequence of greatness where a paper parade dragon comes alive with superb detail and then you must sit through basic renderings of blue fireball-esque magic, rapidly appearing fire, and rippling mirrors. The quality is there and there is no denying the effects created are done at the highest level of proficiency. You have to accept that this is not a film with a grandiose display of effects. They are displayed as needed and without great spectacle. Almost to a fault as the viewer does not marvel at what is supplied but simply expects what is coming. The magic exists, but its not all that magical.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Jon Turteltaub
- Producer(s): Matt LopezDoug MiroCarlo Bernard
- Screenwriter(s): Jay Baruchel (Dave Stutler)Nicolas Cage (Balthazar Blake)Monica Bellucci (Veronica)
- Story: Teresa Palmer (Becky)
- Cast: Alfred Molina (Maxim Horvath) William GoldenbergBojan BazelliNaomi Shohan
- Cinematographer: Trevor Rabin
- Production Designer(s): Method Studios
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s): Asylum VFX
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
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