Nothing Remotely Spellbinding About The Sorcerer's Apprentice
- Wednesday, July 14, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: July 14, 2010
Rating: PG (for fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor and brief language)
Genre: Drama, Adventure
Run Time: 111 min.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Monica Bellucci, Jake Cherry, James A. Stephens, Peyton List
As the Disney creative team already knows, every once in a while a really terrible idea is ultimately the stuff of pure cinematic gold.
After all, who could've predicted that a big-budget movie inspired by a Disney theme park ride (a.k.a. 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) would've been such a big hit? But thanks to that charismatic performance from everyone's favorite oddball Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, the sarcastic, rum-loving pirate, Disney had an unexpected hit franchise to its credit.
Perhaps hoping to conjure up some more Disney magic from an equally unlikely source, namely those nine iconic minutes from Fantasia that involved Mickey Mouse, dancing brooms and some spells gone seriously awry, The Sorcerer's Apprentice unfortunately shares more in common with renowned flops like 2000's Mission to Mars and 2003's The Haunted Mansion than Pirates of the Caribbean in the ol' quality department.
Even with action movie guru Jerry Bruckheimer's name attached to the project, there's nothing remotely spellbinding about The Sorcerer's Apprentice. In fact, it's a classic case of a clunky, horribly clichéd story further destroyed by a series of outlandish stunts and less-than-superb CGI trickery. Simply put, it's a veritable snooze-fest that carries on for nearly two hours.
Starring Nicolas Cage (Knowing, National Treasure), yet another horrible hairpiece and nerdy comedy everyman Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder), The Sorcerer's Apprentice fails to enchant the viewer right from the start. Lacking anything resembling a hook, there's an ominous voiceover that lays out the plot basics in a drawn-out prologue set in 740 A.D.
Introducing us to a sorcerer named Balthazar (Cage), one of the late Merlin the magician's three chosen ones, we discover that Merlin's arch nemesis, Morgana le Fay has been trapped in a Russian doll prison called the Grimhold. Turns out, if Morgana is ever released (something that good wizard-gone-bad Horvath, played by Alfred Molina, is hoping and fighting for), the world as we know it will be destroyed forever.
However, if Balthazar has anything to say about it, that isn't going to happen. And if he's really successful, he'll also be reunited with his long-lost amour Veronica (Monica Belluci), who has also been trapped in captivity for centuries. In the meantime, he must track down and give Merlin's magical dragon ring to an apprentice who'll play a key role in helping Balthazar accomplish the mission.
Seeming to borrow a page straight from Exodus 3 when God calls and commissions the under-qualified Moses to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, a weak physics geek like Dave hardly seems to be the right guy for the job. Of course, the parallels to Moses officially end there when Balthazar and Dave have a rather fortuitous meeting when the 10-year-old accidentally wanders into an antiques shop during a school field trip.
Scared off by the idea of begin chosen for such an odd life as a sorcerer-in-training, Dave forgets all about that fateful day in his pre-teen years. But for whatever reason, he doesn't throw away the ring that Balthazar gave him.
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