From the director who brought you “While You Were Sleeping” and “Cool Runnings,” Jon Turteltaub presents his new project, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” This new film marks the third collaboration between Turteltaub and Nicolas Cage, the first two being a part of the “National Treasure” franchise. Jerry Bruckheimer also takes a break from his “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise to make his return with Turteltaub to produce the film.
While Turteltaub’s previous films have had a spark to launch them into popularity, “The Sorecerer’s Apprentice” is sub-par and childlike.
The idea for the film stemmed from the segment of the same name in the 1940s Disney feature “Fantasia,”where Mickey Mouse uses the flick of his wand for hands-free cleaning. A similar scene makes it into the film.
The apprentice follows Balthazar Blake (Cage), a sorcerer, and former apprentice of Merlin. Living in present-day New York City, Blake makes it his duty to ensure that his arch nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), does not escape and wreak havoc on the city. However, this job is too big for him to handle, and he asks physics nerd Dave Stutler, played by “Tropic Thunder”star Jay Baruchel, to assist him in his quest. Blake soon makes Dave his reluctant protege.
After numerous training sessions, and cliche lines — “I can’t do this,” and “you have the wrong guy,” — Dave finally mans up to get the girl of his dreams and fulfill his destiny.
Mixing a weak script with juvenile jokes, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” falls flat. The film has an interesting premise, but does not deliver in the slightest, proving to be a fun afternoon adventure only if you are under the age of 12.
The cast is likeable enough, but has no chemistry, leaving the acting feeling forced and unnatural. When Dave tries to court Becky (Teresa Palmer), his advances are more creepy than sweet, but the scenes in which Molina and Baruchel share screen time are the closest thing to redeeming.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is the same tale that has been regurgitated into similar films time and time again. For a film about magic, it is not magical at all.