The Sorcerer's Apprentice

  • Rating:PG
  • Director:John Turteltaub
  • Cast:Jay Baruchel, Monica Bellucci, Nicholas Cage, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer
  • Release Date:September 09, 2010
  • Distributor:Walt Disney
  • Running time:109 minutes
  • Film Worth:$8.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

While containing a handful of impressive action sequences, this film is let down by a contrived premise and by-the-numbers script.

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A man with a tangled mop of hair and a large overcoat tells a boy that he has a special power that he never knew about. No, this isn't Harry Potter, although the conclusion to The Sorcerer's Apprentice leaves us with the hint of a new magical Hollywood film franchise on the horizon. A collaboration between Disney, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure), the film presents itself as an adventure/comedy, but is held back from surpassing preceding films of its type by a contrived premise and a stock standard script.

It's taken years of therapy for young Dave Stutler (She's Out Of My League's Jay Baruchel) to block out the memories of meeting the sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) and accidentally freeing the dastardly Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina) from his ancient prison. Now, Dave is fully grown and living a quiet life as a dweeby NYU physics major. His greatest challenge in life is wooing his childhood crush, Becky (Australian actress on the rise Teresa Palmer). All that changes when Balthazar returns to introduce the reluctant Dave to a world of magic and make him his sorcerer's apprentice. Suddenly Dave has bigger fish to fry, as master and apprentice must unite to prevent Horvath from unleashing the wrath of an evil and ruthless sorceress upon New York.

This modern day fantasy is supported by competent performances (Molina is suitably evil, while Cage embraces the fun of the premise), but the real drawcards are the dynamic action sequences, strengthened by spectacular special effects and digital animation, which include a colourful Chinatown street parade, complete with a particularly ferocious dragon. A throwback to the famous "Sorcerer's Apprentice" scene from Disney's Fantasia might charm a mature audience, but only children will appreciate the "humour" in this standard Hollywood effort.

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