The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Out Now On-Demand

It's Disney, but it's not Fantasia. From the makers of the National Treasure franchise comes this adventure-comedy about a sorcerer, Balthazar Blake (Nic Cage) and his hapless apprentice, Dave (Knocked Up's Jay Baruchel), who are swept into the center of an ancient conflict between good and evil.

Balthazar is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan, defending the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave, an average lad with hidden potential. Balthazar gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, as they work together to to stop Horvath's evil.

Incidental trivia! This is mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer's seventh collaboration with Nic Cage, following The Rock, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and G-Force.

Disney's latest attempt to cash in on their iconic titles falls somewhere between The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. On the plus side, this Mr Merlin-meets-The Golden Child slice of science and sorcery feels like a throwback to the 1980s heyday of family films (nods to Star Wars and Indiana Jones certainly help with that vibe) albeit with a western rather than an eastern influence.

On the downside, however, the dialogue, especially Cage's, is just a little too arch, Trevor Rabin's (G-Force) bombastic score a little too insistent,  and the action follows an all too predictable pattern and formula (it's pretty much Enchanted but without the songs and the perky Amy Adams).

An off-kilter, on-the-edge Cage clearly seems to enjoy his mad Merlin-esque character looking a lot more spritely than he has done on some other recent projects (although the hair and beard make him look like a taller, learner Bill Bailey), while Baruchel's (who just can't seem to shake dragons) distinctively whiny voice and nebbish behaviour makes for an appealing, flawed hero in the mould of Marty McFly or Billy Peltzer. And yes, that Fantasia sequences and those mops do make an appearance.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

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The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a perfectly typical example of its type, professionally made and competently acted.

Christchurch Press (Charlie Gates)

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The Sorcerer's Apprentice has magic by the bucketload. It is more fun and stylish than a dumb Nicolas Cage blockbuster deserves to be.

Empire (UK)

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Despite Cage in a snit, it's a likable if functional summer-show.

Guardian (UK)

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Enjoyable action-fantasy adventure with a sparky script.

Hollywood Reporter

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"Apprentice" lurches from one been-there-done-that sequence to another.

New York Times

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While Mr. Molina and Mr. Cage supply a measure of well-compensated eccentricity, their labors ultimately serve to emphasize the grinding mediocrity of the enterprise.

Rolling Stone (USA)

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Cage and Baruchel work hard to stay accessible, but the computer-generated effects come on like heavy artillery blowing away any hint of flesh and blood. The Sorcerer's Apprentice should be rated U for Untouched by Human Hands.

Total Film (UK)

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Bruckheimer waves his wand at another would-be franchise, but the magic’s sporadic. Good-looking blockbusting-by-numbers.

Variety (USA)

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The magic here feels machine-made and depressingly state-of-the-art.

Boringly formulaic

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Boringly formulaic

as soon as you got past losing the doll and zapped 10 years forward - the plot of the whole movie was out there. It really just depended on how long it would take for Dave to save the girl and let the world die then realise maybe I can do something about it. Phenomenally predictable but it's a kids' movie and they are not as jaded as the adults. Watch some good Brit, Aussie, Kiwi and European movies. They aren't slaves to Hollywood so they're pretty decent to watch.

I love just not the best but very good or should i say great

user


I love just not the best but very good or should i say great

This movie is'nt my favourite but it's so cool i would definitly recommend it to someone!!!!!!!!!

it was a good movie

user


it was a good movie

it was a better movie then i thought but it could of used a bit of a better stuff in it but apart from that it was good

Same old boring plot.

user


Same old boring plot.

Boring same style acting of Jay Baruchel as he did in Out of My League.

Boring wimp, not funny, boy-who-loves-girl-saves-the-world plot.

Good special effects though.

Tell us all that is wrong with this preview thread:

user


Tell us all that is wrong with this preview thread:

The previewers.

Get a life

Dhoom

Dhoom

user


GOOD MOVIE

It was a pretty good movie to watch , four out of 5

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

user


The Sorcerer's Apprentice

RE: Frik

Better take a good look in your closet before retiring tonight. I'm sending in Harry Brown to have a heart attack all over you.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

user


The Sorcerer's Apprentice

No. Lee is quite right to make the point. If a movie is remade the first item in a review should be acknowledgment of that status and the review should certainly be informed by knowledge of the earlier take and how it was received.

Bat Mann should just sod off back to Gotham City and stop carping about what should or should not go into this slot.

Frik

Lee and The Sorcerer's Apprentice

user


Lee and The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Lee's comments are not a review and have no place, gratuitously denigrating NZ's standing in the movie review stakes, as they do. The title may have been used already but plot and story line are not beholden to its history. Let's keep this slot for genuine commentary on how well the product delivers on the price charged.

Sorcerer's Appentice

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Sorcerer's Appentice

Where is the acknowledgement of the original?

Or does it go down with "Shall We Dance"? which was as far as I recall, a silent movie in NZ also, regarding its reprise status.

Comparisons may be odious but movie remakes surely call for some evaluation of quality against their inspirational path-finders.