Disney’s The Sorcerers Apprentice is a Jerry Bruckheimer and Jon Turteltaub Film. Starring in this comedy-adventure are Nicolas Cage), Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer and Monica Bellucci. The cast brings to life an old 1940s Disney classic.
The movie starts out in Britain, the year 740 A.D. Where an epic battle is taking place between Merlin (James Stephens) and Morgana Le Fay (Alice Krige). Included in this terrible conflict are Merlin’s interning sorcerers Balthazar Blake (Cage) and his love Veronica (Bellucci). They are trying to stop Morgana from obtaining the spell that would enslave mankind. With the battle nearly won, incomes Maxim Horvath (Molina) to betray Merlin and his fellow sorcerers. His duty is to Morgana and aids her in retrieving the spell from Merlin. Veronica sacrifices herself to stop Morgana from obtaining the period by trapping Morgana’s soul within herself, but Morgana begins to fight her way out of Veronica, Blake saves the woman he loves by trapping them both within a magic nesting doll called a Grimhold. Centuries later, many other sorcerers tried to free Morgana to find themselves also trapped within the nesting doll. Blake was also able to hold Horvath within the Grimhold. However, he cannot free the woman he loves, or defeat Morgana unless he finds the Prime Merlinian, a boy who is the successor of Merlin. So here is where Blake’s journey begins to look for the boy who bares the soul of Merlin.
Fast forward to a present day New York, where ten-year-old Dave is on a field trip with his class when a well-intended love note takes to the wind, with Dave eagerly following behind to catch it. Young Dave enters an old antiquities shop and finds Blake, who, after centuries of searching for the Prime Merlinian, finds him, by an act of coincidence. It was this same law of accident, which accidentally freed Horvath from one inescapable prison to another–this time, and Blake was there to keep him company for ten years. After ten years in the urn that trapped them, Blake and Horvath are released and Dave (Baruchel), now a nerdy college student is Blake’s and the world’s only hope of stopping Horvath from releasing Morgana and thereby thwarting her plans to raise the undead to enslave all of mankind.
Now if this seems like a quick and in-your-face-movie plot, it was. Repetitive, yes. Considering that Jerry Bruckheimer and Nicolas Cage have a pretty consistent film history together: The Rock, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure series; mostly all of Bruckheimer’s films have been very successful, especially the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
I am trying to understand why Nicolas Cage is featured in many key film roles? I’d give Cage props for good acting in Kick-Ass. Maybe it was because Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) made up much of the duo’s strength in the movie that I was curiously excited to see Cage in it. But nah, he still maintains the same blank facial expressions and fails to give any emotional rise to his characters (like in Ghost Rider, Con Air, etc.) and as the sorcerer Balthazar Blake. There wasn’t an on-screen chemistry between Cage and Jay Baruchel–who was as much to blame for his performance in the movie along with the shared amount of failed one-liners.
Baruchel’s annoying doubts about his fate as a powerful sorcerer only served for the ill, short scripted, and wasted misguidance while watching him chase after some girl when he has the power of Merlin at his fingertips. Molina got a raw deal, I mean his talent is so much greater than his role as the sorcerer Horvath–at least he got to wander around looking fierce in his Bowler hat and wielding pimp cane-is-wand-stick-thing. No matter, movies like these will still attract big crowds, continue to make millions upon millions, billions even and why not? There isn’t much on television these days.
Pros: The CGI and other striking effects of the film (the steel eagle and the dragon) were impressive enough to make up for the failed story-line. Great reference to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1940) by including the part made famous by Mickey Mouse. In fact, if not for the stunning effects in this movie, I would have turned it off immediately after I saw Merlin go down in the most insulting way. Cons: The bad acting..and Jay Baruchel’s annoying voice, one that makes it seem like he’s getting ready to crack puberty. The awful one-liners. The bad jokes. Too many could’s, would’s, and should have’s.