The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Both Alfred Molina (Maxim Horvath) and Toby Kebbell (Drake Stone) appear in Jerry Bruckheimer recent film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Anyone who say Fantasia back in the day most likely has a place in their heart for The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The iconic blue wizards hat, the broomsticks, the ax; it's the most memorable scene in the film. Nearly 70 years later it looks like the sorcerer will be getting a new apprentice. Sorry Mickey, but your days of casting magic spells are over.

Loosely based on the cartoon short, Dave (Jay Baruchel) is your average geeky science nerd living in Manhattan just trying to get by unnoticed. That plan seems to be going well until Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage), a highly skilled sorcerer trained by Merlin himself, shows up and believes Dave is the rumored apprentice who can put a stop to the evil Morgana and her right hand man Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Naturally, Dave is a little hesitant to join in the battle but as always, there's some cute girl to make things a little more interesting.

The film follows the tride-and-true formula where some nobody has their life turned upside down and they must save the world and get the girl. That nobody turns out to be Baruchel and he does a good job playing the geeky physics nerd. Playing the lightning bolt wielding sorcerer's apprentice? Not so much. He just isn't the type to be making electricity comes from his hands and manipulate objects. There's one scene where he gives us his best Wolverine impression (only without the claws) and it looks darn right pathetic and laughable. Not only that but he does it about three or four times.

Nicolas Cage manages to do a decent job as the wacky yet powerful sorcerer. He tends to overdo it with the hand gestures but for the most part he can actually appear threatening and cool at times. I partially credit it to his Matrix-style trench coat that he wears. Alfred Molina - who seems to be a favorite of Bruckheimer recently - is underused. That's about all that can be said about him.

Some of the special effects are pretty cool such as the dragon and car manipulations. Oh, and the homages to the original Fantasia are excellent so be on the look out for those. Another personal favorite of mine was a scene involving Magic: The Gathering as I was quite the collector when I was little.

Kids will probably get a kick out of The Sorcerer's Apprentice with it's magical spells and light humor. Once you're about the age of say, 13, the magical charm is lost and it becomes just another average movie. Oh, and God help me if I have to hear One Republic's "Secrets" one more time. They played it so much I'm surprised it isn't included on the soundtrack. Disney tried a little to hard on this one to attract a more mature audience and expand the franchise as it successfully did with Pirates of the Caribbean. I'd say stick with the princesses and animations.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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