Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’m about to get esoteric and deep in introducing this movie ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ to you. True enough if ever there was a movie that doesn’t require deep thought, this would be the one, but I’m going to do this anyway. You see there’s nothing explicitly wrong with this movie. It’s completely functional. But that’s exactly what’s wrong with it. Imagine me giving you an eggplant, a few strips of your meat of choice, and a few vegetables and spices and asking you to make a meal out of it. You may be able to come up with something very special and satisfying. Or you may just screw it all up. Or instead I could just give you a Big Mac. A Big Mac is tasty. Sure there’s nothing unique about a Big Mac since this burger could be from Orlando or Seattle and it would still taste the same, but at least you know what you’re getting and it will be functional and you won’t be hungry. Of course you won’t be saying a month from now ‘Man, that Big Mac I had in Orlando back in July sure was good’ because you’ve forgotten all about it. But you’re going to remember that Eggplant dish you made, good or bad, because it was unique. Still with me? I would completely understand if you’ve abandoned this by now. This movie ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, a lot like the Disney movie that preceded it ‘Prince of Persia’, is a tasty Big Mac. It’s functional entertainment. Also, a month from now, you will probably forget you ever saw it.

Our tale begins with some inane back story involving Merlin, some 1300 years ago, getting himself whacked by Morgana LeFay (Alice Krige). Merlin’s ace apprentice Balthazar (Nicholas Cage) imprisons Morgana and her fiendish underlings in something that looks like a giant Weeble Wobble and life goes on while Balthazar searches for the Prime Merlinian. It’s Complicated. Not really. We’ll get to it. Some 1290 years later we meet young Dave Stutler, a ten year old boy of limitless imagination and scientific intelligence who likes a girl named Becky. Circumstance leads the boy to the knick knack shop of Batlthazar who discovers that Dave is indeed the Prime Merlinian, or the only person in existence who has some Merlin blood in him, and thus the only person who can destroy Morgana. I’m thinking though, if the primary criteria for being the Prime Merlinian is having Merlin blood, then wouldn’t Dave’s mom or dad have

this blood and thus be Prime Merlinian material as well? Hmmm…. Anyway, somehow Dave accidentally uses the magical Prime Merlinian ring to free Balthazar’s arch enemy Horvath (Alfred Molina) which starts a big old sorcerer battle leading to both Horvath and Balthazar being locked away for ten years and leaving Dave a complete and total emotional wreck.

Ten years later Dave (Jay Baruchel) is a genius physics college student and still an emotional wreck. Also Balthazar and Horvath are free from their temporary prisons and both are searching for the weeble wobble. Horvath must be stopped because if he gets the weeble wobble he will free Morgana who in turn will raise every dead evil sorcerer who in turn will kill us all. I’m thinking though, why do these bad people always want to kill us all? Then there’s nobody to rule over. Makes no sense to me. To stop this from happening Balthazar must train an initially reluctant Dave to be the Prime Merlinian. Dave, as a side note, has reconnected with Becky (Theresa Palmer) and Becky is looking nice. Balthazar understands love because he lost his love Veronica (Monica Bellucci) during the Morgana Wars back in the day.  Losing Monica Bellucci makes us sad.

Nonetheless, adventure awaits. There will be dragon attacks, Salem’s witch attacks, Wolf Pack attacks, Las Vegas Magician attacks, car chases, plasma bolts, fire balls, flying metal eagles and the Meryl Lynch Bull will make an appearance. But will the boy realize his potential, become the master we know he can be and save us from the evil sorceress who foolishly wants to kill us all and rule over nobody? I’m not one to spoil it for you…

Hey, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this movie outside of the fact that it has no soul. It is a paint by numbers adventure offering no surprises and giving us very little, at least as far as a narrative is concerned, that we haven’t seen a thousand times before. Nic Cage looks like he’s having a ball as the character of Balthazar, Jay Baruchel does that schlub thing the he has virtually mastered, Alfred Molina was swanky smooth as the villain and Theresa Palmer and Monica Bellucci were looking good. I was hoping upon meeting Theresa Palmer’s character that maybe, possibly she wouldn’t be kidnapped and held hostage for something. Silly I know, but I was hoping. The special effects are well done, as expected, I laughed a couple of times and if I waited more than two days to write this I would’ve forgotten everything about this movie and would have nothing to say.

A forgettable, disposable movie is not necessarily a bad movie however and this isn’t a bad movie. In fact I have a friend who eats NOTHING but fast food. Nothing but. And he only watches movies like this and he loved this movie. Yes, he will forget this movie just like I will, just like you would, but he is very comfortable with it and he likes to be in a comfortable place. Can’t be mad at that. So enjoy ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ for what it is. You have every right to expect more, but for what it is, it is functional.

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