The Sorcerer’s Apprentice | John Turteltaub, 2010
When it comes to Jerry Bruckheimer productions that are set in today’s world, whether they are movies or television shows, there are certain expectations that are rarely missed. You can expect a top-notch technical presentation, tons of special effects, the latest hit song from the hottest top-40 act, performances ranging from painfully bad to very good, and a half-assed script. At some point, I thought that this would be different in the script department as when it was announced Disney was going through some sort of short-lived renaissance and it was supposedly inspired by a short in one of the greatest animated movies in the Disney catalogue. But time passed and I saw that it was just another Bruckheimer movie, and I went into it with matching expectations. And in the end, my expectations were met.
Nicolas Cage plays Balthazar, one of Merlin’s three apprentices. Him, along with the other two apprentices, Verocia (Monica Bellucci) and Horvarth (Alfred Molina) protected the world against the evil Morgana. But one day Horvath betrayed then and joined Morgana, and killed Merlin. Also, Veronica sacrificed herself to trap Morgana’s soul so that Balthazar would imprison her in one of those Russian dolls. And before he died, Merlin told Balthazar that he had to roam the earth until he found the one person who would inherit his power and would kill morgana.
Flashforward to the present, and that one person is geeky physics student Dave (Jay Baruchel). By this point, he already knows who he is as he had a previous encounter with Balthazar that ended in disaster, but now he is a student and is on the verge of being in a relationship with a girl he has loved since he was in fourth grade. And so, the race agains time begins as Horvarth wants the doll to release Morgana and destroy the world.
So, yeah, there’s not much plot. Since this is a Disney movie you already know that Morgana will be defeated, Jay Baruchel will get the girl, and everyone will live happily ever after. But how was the plot handled? Not in a good way. The script is horrible, the enditing inconsistent, and the Zimmer-rip-off score if annoying. However, it gets by on the charm of the actors. Nicolas Cage is as crazy as ever (though not as crazy as in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans), Jay Baruchel is as good as can be expected from him (not leading man material, but charming), Alfred Molina has a ton of fun with his role, Teresa Palmer is hot, and Monica Bellucci is even hotter, and that is all that they have to do.
There are ton of other things that I could complain about, but I won’t because the people who made it know that it was not going to be good cinema, and it just feels like everyone was there for the fun of it (and the money, of course). And for that, I enjoyed it.