ReviewWriter: Sophia LingWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief", "War Of The Dragons", “Eragon”
Not to be mistaken for a spin-off of one of the Harry Potter films, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is Disney's attempt at revitalising forgotten tales such as "Fantasia" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks". Starring Alfred Molina and the falling (or should I say flailing) Nicholas Cage, this supernatural kids flick will leave you, for the lack of a better term - stupefied!
Cage plays Balthazar Blake, a never-aging mortal apprentice to Merlin who is on a mission to save the world (is there ever any other kind) with the help of Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel). One by one, evil wizards are released from a "grimhold" (just another fancy name for a Russian nesting doll) and the duo must extinguish them before it's too late.
The opening credits have a few familiar names; director Jon Turteltaub ("National Treasure"), writer Mark Rosenthal ("Mona Lisa Smile"), Monica Bellucci ("Matrix Revolutions") and use-my-name-for-leverage-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. But a good cast and crew does not guarantee a good film and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" firmly reminds us of that.
Jon Turteltaub seems to be stuck in his "National Treasure" mode, leaving audiences to connect the dots as they go along while throwing in a love story and some razzle-dazzle-hocus-pocus (without any cool incantations though) to impress the young ones. The only real relationship one senses is between Balthazar and his young apprentice. Everyone else just warps in and out of style without leaving much of an impact. The disconnection between plot and characters makes it very hard to root for anyone in particular.
If Nicholas Cage plans on ending his career, he's on the right path ("Kick-ass" being nothing but a fluke). His performance as Balthazar, a thousand year old un-aging mortal magician of sorts lacked emotion and power. Or perhaps, after a millennia of waiting for the "chosen one", he's just lost his will. Even his kiss with Monica Bellucci was less than impressive. It makes one crave the tortured soul of Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen.
Gone are the younger days where this reviewer was 12 and would have probably enjoyed this film. Fire-balls, levitation and telekinesis is always a sure hit with kids. If that was the intended target market, then it's a job well done. But if you're going in expecting a spectacular display of magic, take Balthazar's advice and "Clear your head!".Cinema Online, 14 July 2010