Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I popped the DVD of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, starring Nicholas Cage and Alfred Molina, in for viewing yesterday. I don't know what I expected. The previews looked good, but sometimes that's the best part of the movie.

I wouldn't say this was in that category, but it was not the greatest movie I ever saw. The plot seemed a little loopy, with a lot of moments that made me go, "Where did THAT come from?" while watching. Not a good sign. To me, it suggests that they either cut out a bunch of stuff that explained these things, or it was just a poorly written script. I suspect that it was the former.

Cage and Molina are very good as the ancient sorcerers who are at odds in the story - Cage's Balthazar wants to keep Morgana, the evil sorceress from the Arthurian legends, bottled up in her Russian nesting doll prison, and Molina's character wants to free her and in the process destroy Balthazar.

The only part brought into this film from the classic Disney animated feature Fantasia was a scene where the apprentice decides to clean up the lab and uses magic to animate brooms and mops and buckets and other cleaning tools, and the objects go crazy, making a huge mess. Balthazar has to step in and make things right. The scene plays well in the movie; if you didn't know it was from Fantasia you'd not feel it to be out of place in this story.

It was sort of like watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief with Dave, the college-aged, nerdy apprentice character (played well by Jay Baruchel, except maybe in the Dave-doing-magic scenes) throwing magic around like Percy Jackson using his power over water. In fact, I saw similarities between the two films in content and in quality. Neither was a disaster, but neither was a great film. In my commentary about the Percy Jackson movie, I suggested that perhaps Disney should have done that film, and asked rhetorically what they could have done with it. I guess, with The Sorcerer's Apprentice, we find out the answer to that.

And the answer is: Nothing special.



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Anonymous said...

Hey Scott, I'm just getting around to reading some of your posts and wanted to comment on Sorcerer's Apprentice.
I've seen the film several times, and while I enjoyed it, I have to agree with your comments about it being "loopy". There seemed to be some good story elements and plot to work with, but they just didn't put it all together very well. The acting by Molina was great, as usual for him (one of my favorite actors), but Nicolas Cage's character was lacking something. I can't put my finger on it, but one he just didn't seem right for the role, and two his character was just weird, but not in the way I would have expected.
It's still a fun movie, but just seemed like it could have been much better.

Scott said...

Thanks for the comment! Lately Cage seems a little off more often than not. But I didn't mind him. I generally liked Baruchel as Dave, but had my issues, as I mentioned.

An okay movie, but I think it could have been a lot better...