When I first heard about The Sorcerer's Apprentice, I wasn't impressed enough to put it on my much watch list. But the more I heard about it, the more I wanted to see it. I finally got to sit down and watch it last night, only to find out that I missed a fun movie.
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Since the movie basically has two prologues, it's a bit hard to describe, but here goes. When Dave was 10, he wandered away from a class field trip and had a weird experience in a magic shop. He tried to put it behind him, even changing schools. But on his 20th birthday, the events of that day are going to come back to haunt him.
First up, Dave (Jay Baruchel) finds himself face to face with Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), a man who is demanding the location of a stacking doll. When Dave doesn't know, Horvath sends a pack of wolves after him. That's a little strange in New York City. But Dave is saved by Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) who flies in on a gargoyle to save him.
Turns out that Horvath and Balthazar are locked in a centuries old battle of good and evil with Horvath out to destroy the world. And Dave? Well, he just might be the person that Balthazar has spent centuries looking for who can put a stop to the battle once and for all. Can Dave find his powers in time for the coming confrontation?
Okay, so the movie turned out to be fairly predictable. I had the big brush strokes figured out long before they happened. But this movie is another case of the fun being in the journey, not the twists along the way. I had an absolutely blast joining Dave on this journey.
Part of the reason I enjoyed the movie was the big scenes. The confrontation scenes between good and evil were very well done. They were the perfect mix of humor and suspense since they made me worried about the characters while still laughing at some of the absurd things going on around them. And the special effects were outstanding. I bought every thing I saw.
But I've got to say I also enjoyed the movie because of Dave. He's an awkward geek that you just can't help but root for. He's got a love interest who just adds to his charm. Balthazar started out a bit strange, but by the end of the movie I really liked him, too.
The acting was great all around as far as I am concerned. Nicolas Cage and Alfred Molina were the only names I was familiar with in the cast. I've always thought they were great when I saw them in a movie, and this one is no exception. Jay Baruchel is the one who stood out to me. I've seen complaints about his acting here being too nerdy and whiney; I thought it was perfect. Rounding out the main cast is Teresa Palmer as Dave's love interest Becky. She brought a real warmth to the role that made it easy to see why Dave loved her.
Of course, most people associate The Sorcerer's Apprentice with the famous segment from Fantasia where Mickey tries to get a broom to do his chores and winds up losing control of them. There's a scene here that pays homage to it and is mostly fun. I didn't care for one aspect of it, but it was a minor complaint. There are also hilarious references to Star Wars and the first Indiana Jones movie over the course of the film.
There's a final scene after the credits that pays one final bit of homage to the original and sets things up for a potential sequel.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice doesn't break any new ground story wise, but it's a fun trip with characters you come to really like. If you want to escape into a movie for a couple of hours, this is the movie for you.
This reviews is part of the Tales to Warm Your Mind, and Third Annual All Things Disney write-offs.
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