Magic is everywhere in Disney's The
Sorcerer's Apprentice-the fun family adventure from the creators
of National Treasure. Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a
modern-day sorcerer with his hands full defending Manhattan
against dark forces. When a seemingly average kid shows hidden
potential, Balthazar takes his reluctant recruit on a crash
course in the art and science of magic to become the ultimate
sorcerer's apprentice. Experience more extraordinary thrills,
heart-stopping action and spectacular special effects than
you can imagine as these unlikely partners show us that the
real world is far more magical than we ever knew!
You will not control your magic if you will not control yourself – Balthazar Blaze
2010 is indeed a bad year for famed producer Jerry Bruckheimer. His tentpole summer blockbuster for Disney, "Prince of Persia" was a major dud and his second attempt, "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice" apparently was not a hit with movie-goers either. Though I must for the record, disagree with all the detractors out there who slammed the apprentice.
It’s evident that you shouldn’t take a Jerry Bruckheimer production too seriously and this movie which is inspired by the iconic Mickey Mouse’s segment from "Fantasia" (one of my fave short over the years) is easily a digestible fantasy flick for the whole family.
The plotting in a nutshell involves the three apprentices of Merlin, Balthazar (Nicholas Cage), Veronica (Monica Bellucci in an extended cameo) and the evil Horvath (Alfred Molina). Horvath has conspired with Merlin’s nemesis, Morgana to enslave mankind. Before Merlin passes, he entrusts Balthazar to find the Prime Merlinean, his successor who has the ability to destroy Morgana. Centuries later, Balthazar finally found the Chosen One, in the form of a future physics college student Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel).
"The Sorcerer’s Apprentice" tries to mix science with magic but it’s never that satisfying listening to Cage spouting his logic than watching the sorcerers themselves conjuring plasma balls, moving objects and turning a steel eagle flying away and a 7000 pound Charging Bull statue coming to live on the streets of New York. Secondly, you can’t really justify a Jerry Bruckheimer without including a car chase of sort and director Jon Turteltaub (The National Treasure series) for goodwill sake or not included one adrenalin-pumping chase downtown. With "Apprentice", Turteltaub is far more at ease in staging massive CGI driven action sequences be it the dancing mops or the wizardry battle in the end than ever before.
Finally, we get to watch a subdued Cage doing his best impersonation as a tortured sorcerer without his usual hokey over-the-top performances liked "The Ghost Rider". The lanky Jay Baruchel is instantly likeable as the geekboy who juggles between saving the world and his junior sweetheart, Becky Barnes (played by Australia-born Teresa Palmer). Alfred Molina best known to most as Doc Ock on the other hand deserved a bit more screentime. We just love Molina playing the villain, don’t we?
Obviously not meant to be as epic as the Harry Potter series and despite the occasional lapses in plotting, there is still enough humour, dazzling effects and competent action sets to please the crowd. Definitely worth at least a single viewing.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The Making of the Sorcerer's Apprentice runs at 22 minutes and shows you that the movie actually showcases a number of practical effects rather than post-production visual effects.
One single measly Deleted Scene: Balthazar recruits Dave is included here.
Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumbaa from The Lion King fame is more of a commercial touting the wonders of Blu-ray and so is Dylan & Sprouse: Blu-ray is Suite which is included in almost all of the past Disney releases.
The visual presentation is fantastic with natural colour contrast and skin tones. The sound effects of the plasma balls are beautifully reproduced on the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, be prepare to be jolt by the rich dynamism of it.
by Linus Tee
Posted on 3 December 2010