When did they start doing NVQ’s in sorcery?
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice follows seemingly average guy Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel) who is recruited and trained by master sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) to defend Manhattan from his nemesis Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). A film aimed at a young audience that follows a young wizard, it all seems a bit Harry Potter!
Early Nicolas Cage films are very impressive and many brought brilliant performances including Raising Arizona (1987), Adaptation (2002) and Matchstick Men (2003). Things began to go downhill when he started to be involved in films that were a complete disappointment, his performances in Ghost Rider (2007), Next (2007) and the National Treasure (2004 & 2007) franchise may have been bearable; the films however were just awful. Only recently has he reignited his career with Oscar-worthy performances in Kick Ass (2010) and Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant (2010). Just when we see a return to the good old Cage days it seems he can’t escape Disney’s and Bruckheimer’s grasp and yet again helps conjure up another disappointment.
Director Jon Turtletaub’s career is also marred by the inadequate National Treasure franchise, but don’t forget he is the genius behind the legendary Cool Runnings (1993). Sadly this film is more like the latter. An incredibly boring narrative that takes the fantasy element much too far is enough to deter an audience. But if it isn’t Jay Baruchel’s irritating voice paired with average performances from the entire cast is sure to be. It’s surprising that the narrative is so poor for a film that is based on Disney’s celebrated Fantasia. The memorable mop scene is referenced well and is one of the few highlights.
Some of the best special effects and CGI are displayed in this film with cars driving through mirrors in to “reverse-worlds” and energy blasts fired from the hands. The director uses the magician’s old trick of misdirection as the intense special effects trick you into enjoying the film, but they eventually wear thin and are the same old effects, which have been done before and more effectively.
At the end of the day The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is another poor children’s film and with better films in cinemas at the moment and the long awaited Deathly Hallows Part One coming out soon, you’re much better off waiting. 3/10.