This week Disney’s bringing out the big guns to combat the blockbuster competition in the form of Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, and Mickey Mouse — sort of. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is based on a segment from the classic animated film Fantasia that featured Mickey as a young and eager student to an all powerful wizard. In this adaptation, Baruchel plays the apprentice to Cage’s sorcerer in a film dominated by glossy special effects, family humor, and a swollen score.
- Director: Jon Turteltaub
- Writers: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Matt Lopez, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
- Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell, Alice Krige, Monica Bellucci, Omar Benson Miller
- Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli
- Original Music By: Trevor Rabin
Balthazar Blake (Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Molina). Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
- Special Effects: Like most Jerry Bruckheimer films, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is all gloss and green screen but unlike his previous feature Prince of Persia, these special effects actually work. They’re polished, sharp, and are the highlight of the movie.
- Jay Baruchel: He does vulnerability like no ones business and is a believable Average Joe-type. Some people think he should step outside the box, but if it ain’t broke — you know the rest.
- The Humor: The film is a lot funnier than it appears in the trailers. There’s a nice tone of humor that’s not slapstick but is relevant and used appropriately.
- Love Story: There’s an underlying subplot that centers on Cage’s character Balthazar and Belucci’s Veronica. The actress is barely in the film and you never see any believable chemistry between the two making their romanticized love story appear forced.
- Supporting Characters: With the exception of Toby Kebbell (who was amazing) the supporting characters are pretty one dimensional. Omar Benson Miller (8 mile) is completely wasted and Palmer is the pretty girl with a heart of gold, a archetype we’ve seen countless times in films before.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice isn’t your typical, blocky Nicolas Cage film because it actually has some good moments. It’s mildly entertaining, the visuals are nice to look at, and Baruchel steals the show with his honest portrayal of the title character.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice hits theaters on July 14, 2010.
Are you interested in seeing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice this weekend?