The team of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and John Turteltaub who earlier associated together successfully for National Treasure 1 and 2 have come out with their latest offering, The Sorcerer"s Apprentice which is a fun slice of escapist entertainment that"s teeming with the kind of creativity Disney used to be famous for.
The story centers around an immortal sorcerer named Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage) who has spent centuries looking for a youth who will inherit not only his wisdom and powers, but that of his late master, Merlin himself. That young man is Dave (Jay Baruchel), an NYU physics student who suddenly finds himself embroiled in an age old quest to rid the world of Blake"s arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), bent on world domination. As the unlikely and often reluctant protege is given a crash course in magic, he"ll try desperately to survive his training, get the girl and save New York City.
Inspired by the celebrated short from Disney"s animated classic, “Fantasia" – a sequence that is playfully recreated in the film – “The Sorcerer"s Apprentice" doesn"t really offer too many surprises that fans of Bruckheimer"s other movies haven"t seen before, but it"s an entertaining ride nonetheless. Turteltaub"s direction is just apt for a film of this genre.
Cage goes about tackling the role of Balthazar with unbridled enthusiasm - and a pretty impressive wig. Teaming up with Cage is Jay Baruchel, last seen in She"s Out of My League. The unusual pairing of Cage and Baruchel works, the teacher/student relationship feels authentic. Baruchel's reed thin physique, unique voice and geeky vibe makes him perfect for the part of a reluctant hero who must save the world. The rest of the supporting players fly in and out with only Molina as Horvath and Teresa Palmer as the college beauty who falls for the physics nerd-turned-magician getting a chance to make an impression. Molina's good at being the villain and Palmer's absolutely terrific as Baruchel's love interest.
It"s not that The Sorcerer"s Apprentice is a particularly great film. But it is a surprisingly satisfying one. An epic comedy adventure, it is quiet full of great effects and unexpectedly dramatic circumstances. In the end, it is humorous and exciting, casting a spell of unrepentant fun. Worth a one time watch for sure.
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
Director: John Turteltaub
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Monica Belluci, Teresa Palmer and Alfred Molina
Rating: 3 out of 5*