Friday, July 16, 2010

Sorcerers's Apprentice Movie Review

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has mined various other genres of entertainment for movies. He took a ride from Disneyland, and extrapolated it into a movie, "Pirates of the Caribbean." (2003) He took a videogame and expanded that into a movie, "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time." (2010) What next? The teacup ride at Disneyland? Nope. This time he goes to the Disney classic, "Fantasia." (1940) Specifically, he takes Mickey Mouse segment called "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" with music from Paul Dukas and turns it into a full length movie.

The movie starts out in the past, eighth century England. Sorcerer Merlin has three apprentices, Balthazar (Nicholas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas), Veronica (Monica Bellucci) and Horvath. (Alfred Molina, Raiders of the Lost Ark) In a battle with evil Morgana (Alice Krige, Star Trek: First Contact), Merlin is fatally stabbed. Horvath has sided with Morgana. Morgana's plan? Unleash the Borg from the Delta quadrant to assimilate earth. Um, sorry that's when Krige played the Borg queen in Star Trek. Okay, her plan is to unleash the dead sorcerers to form an army to conquer the world. Veronica stops Morgana by sucking up her soul. Balthazar then uses a magic doll to capture Veronica-Morgana and Horvath. Before he dies, Merlin tells Balthazar that his descendant will be the only one who can defeat Morgana. Made immortal by Merlin, Balthazar searches the planet for the one.

We flash forward to the year 2000, where Balthazar is running an antique shop in New York. A young ten year old Dave stumbles into his store where Balthazar discovers he is the one. Unfortunately for the planet, Balthazar keeps the doll out on the showroom. Yes, he doesn't store the item that contains the greatest evil in a safe place! That's because Dave is a klutz and drops the doll which releases Horvath. Balthazar and Horvath fight it out before Balthazar uses an enchanted vase to suck them both in for the next ten years. Flash forward to 2010. Balthazar and Horvath escape. Horvath is looking for the doll while Balthazar is looking for Dave, now played by Jay Baruchel. Balthazar finds Dave and convinces him to be his apprentice and train for the upcoming battle.

This is the year of the Baruchel. He gets the blond babe in "She's Out of My League", the blond babe Becky (Teresa Palmer) in this movie, and the dragon in "How to Train Your Dragon." Okay, the dragon doesn't count. I mean he's part of my tribe, the geeks. Yet, in this movie he's the problem. I get that he's supposed to be a brilliant physics nerd. But unless you're Bauchel's mother, he's hard to like. He whines in a mumbling nasal voice. He's got that thick furry mop of hair. His performance was getting annoying. Nicholas Cage comes off kind of distant as if he doens't believe in the material. That's a bigger problem with Baruchel. During the times he must use magic, you don't really get the feeling he believes in it. That's deadly. Alfred Molina is good as always. That's because he believes in what he is doing. Maybe, it's because bad guys can be more interesting than the good guys. Spoiler Alert for Trekkers. Alice Krige seems to have trouble with plasma in her movies.

Director John Turteltaub (National Treasure) drives the action like Balthazar drives his car. No let up. The car chases are exciting. And this is how you do fight scene at night, with plenty of lighting and no confusion. Yet, the movie is cold. That goes to how well Cage and Baruchel believe in their characters. I didn't buy it. By the way, the resurrected sorcerers look like the Smoke Monster in Lost. So, that's what the Smoke Monster is.

If you're bored, you might like Sorcerer's Apprentice. And if you support Baruchel's career, see it. Because at the end of the credits, there's a hint of a sequel. But if you want a guilty pleasure at the movies, see "The A Team" before this time waster. The grade is C+. Here's a clip from the movie.

No comments: