The Sorcerer's Apprentice

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Nicolas Cage Uses Magic Against Evil in The Sorcerer's Apprentice (No Spoilers)

Jul 14, 2010 (Updated Jun 1, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fun, entertaining movie with good cast over all.

Cons:Some predictability. Not much character development.

The Bottom Line: The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a fun, family friendly adventure movie that is worth checking out.

I’ve been interested in seeing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice since I first saw the trailers.  I’ve enjoyed most Nicolas Cage movies I’ve seen and I tend to like movies that deal with magic. 

I’m only going to briefly discuss the plot of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, mostly just mentioning things that are clear from the trailer.  People that would prefer not to know anything about the plot before seeing the movie should skip the next paragraph.

**Minor Plot Discussion**

Sorcerer Balthazar Blake has been using his skill in magic to battle evil sorcerers for years.  He discovers that Dave has potential to be a powerful sorcerer and makes him his apprentice.  Horvath is one of the evil sorcerers and he is back after having been magically imprisoned by Balthazar for a very long time.  Balthazar starts training Dave so they can face off against Horvath.

**End of Minor Plot Discussion**

I think the plot of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice works well to make an interesting and entertaining movie.  There is more going on throughout the movie than I had expected.  A few things that happen are somewhat surprising, though there are also some predictable things that happen as well.  I don’t mind the predictable parts because the movie is so entertaining and fun.  The movie is loosely based on the Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment of the animated movie Fantasia.  One scene in the movie, which is somewhat cute and entertaining, is definitely influenced by that segment.  Some people may not like that the movie is influenced by Fantasia, but I think the story is good enough to make this movie stand on its own.

Magic plays a very important part in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice since the main characters, as well as a few more minor characters, have varying degrees of magical abilities.  Some explanations about the way the magic works in the movie are shared during the first few minutes.  Those explanations make sense with what is going on.  Balthazar is shown to be a powerful sorcerer fairly early in the movie and he does all sorts of spells throughout the movie.  A few of the spells are different from ones I’ve seen in other movies.  Some of the training Dave goes through is shown.  I really enjoyed all the magic stuff in the movie.  People who don’t like movies dealing with magic will probably want to pick something else to see. 

The fights between various characters add a bit of action to what is going on.  There is only a little bit of violence, none of which is extreme or that graphic.  Since the movie is rated PG, it is mostly family friendly.  One or two things that happen could be scary or upsetting to younger children, so parents may want to check the movie out first.  The movie isn’t really funny overall, but there is humor in several scenes.  Some of the humor, like how Dave’s attempts at spells, is a little silly, but it works.  The funny things that pop up do help to lighten the mode a bit.  Special effects are used throughout the movie, mostly in relation to the spells being done.  Dave does show off an experiment he has been doing at one point.  I have no idea if what he did is possible or realistic, but it does look really cool.  The special effects are done well and I think they enhance what is going on.  Several things just wouldn’t have worked well without the effects.

A tiny bit of romance is added to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice through Dave’s interest in Becky.  He isn’t that confident, so it does take him a while to be able to say much of anything to her.  The developing relationship is a more minor plot element that doesn’t receive a lot of attention.  It does add a bit of complication since it does distract Dave.  The relationship is rather sweet.  Some references are made to the feelings that Balthazar has for Veronica, another sorcerer who fought evil with him.

There really isn’t a lot of character development for any of the characters.  Balthazar is a very skilled, intelligent sorcerer who has been focused on one thing for a very long time.  The character is interesting and more complex than he seems at first.  I really like Nicolas Cage in the part even with the shaggy hair - it ends up working for the character.  Cage makes Balthazar likable and believable, though it would have been nice if there had been more development for him.  Veronica is another powerful sorcerer who has been fighting evil.  She is rather important even though she isn’t in as much of the movie.  Monica Bellucci does good with the part.

Dave is an intelligent though somewhat nerdy college student.  He does really well with physics and has trouble talking to the girl he likes.  He has doubts about his abilities as a sorcerer and seems to look at it as just something cool to do for a while even though he has already encountered Horvath.  Jay Baruchel is fine in the part, though there is something that seems a little off about her performance in some scenes.  Becky is the girl that Dave is interested in.  She is very pretty and popular, so she does seem out of his league.  She isn’t stuck up and she doesn’t look down on him.  Teresa Palmer is fine in the part.  Dave’s friend Bennett turns up in a few short scenes and ultimately ends up not doing much.  Bennett really doesn’t add anything, so I’m not sure why he’s around at all.

Horvath is the main evil sorcerer that Balthazar and Dave have to deal with.  Horvath has a somewhat complicated history, which helps to make him a more interesting character.  He is a bit over the top every so often, but that works for this character.  He makes a good villain for the movie and Alfred Molina is really good in the part.  Drake Stone is a sorcerer who has been working as a magician that Horvath recruits for help.  Drake is very showy and doesn’t seem to take what he is doing seriously.  He does kind of remind me of Criss Angel.  Toby Kebbell is good in the part.

Main Cast

Jay Baruchel - Dave
Monica Bellucci - Veronica
Nicolas Cage - Balthazar
Toby Kebbell - Drake Stone
Alfred Molina - Horvath
Teresa Palmer - Becky

Jon Turteltaub - Director

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a fun, entertaining family friendly adventure movie that kids and adults both can enjoy.  A few things are predictable and Baruchel could be a bit better in his part, but the movie is worth watching.  Fans of movies dealing with magic or fans of Nicolas Cage may find something to like about this one.

This review is part of elvisdo’s 2010 Funny Pages Write Off.  Jay Baruchel is from Ottawa.

* This review was orignally posted after I saw the movie in the theater.  It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Nicolas Cage Movie Reviews
Amos & Andrew ~ The Ant Bully ~ G-Force ~ Ghost Rider ~ Kick-A ss ~ Knowing ~ Matchstick Men ~ National Treasure ~ National Treasure: Book of Secrets ~ Next ~

Recommend this product? Yes

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