TITLE: The Sorceror's Apprentice
PEOPLE INVOLVED: Jerry Bruckheimer, Nickolas Cage, Jay Baruchel
REALEASED: July 16th, 2010
DISTRIBUTED BY: Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer
PREMISE: A science geek meets Merlin's apprentice who tells him he's going to be a powerful wizard in an important upcoming battle.
MY REVIEW: This movie...will not win Oscars. Like Prince of Persia it wavered between fun and cheesy and never got off that mark. But I enjoyed Prince of Persia as well, so I also enjoyed this. The reason Bruckheimer's movies tend to work for me is that he doesn't try too hard. He makes movies for ENTERTAINMENT. He knows what audiences want in movies and knows how to get butts in the seat. He doesn't go trying to make Oscar worthy winning movies that are obviously there to win Oscars. Does this make sense? It did when I tried to explain to someone else why it is that I don't abhor Jerry Bruckheimer. Oh well.
Anyway, like I said, the movie is fun. Cage is Balthazar who is a cranky/slightly crazy sarcastic wizard who was Merlin's pupil. Say what you will about Cage, I like the guy. Particularly when he just plays fun characters like this one and runs with it. Now for the kid played by Baruchel (aka the voice of Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon for those trying to place where they know this guy) he wavered between sometimes being annoying to being awkwardly adorable. But he effectively made you root for his character.
Effects were...average. Nothing really to write home about. The story...also average. Typical geeky kid finds he's special and must rise to the challenge yada yada. I also have to mention that as adorable as the romance was it seemed rather...forced to me. I kind of would have rathered they had focused on the magical aspect of it but this being Disney, all the guys need to paired off (hence why Veronica and Balthazar have a thing and why she and he magically live).
What elevated this movie was the humor, the fun ideas in it (come on, you know you want a car that changes models like the car in this movie). I also found the blending of science and magic rather interesting. All in all it was just enjoyable. Again, will never win Oscars, but if you need something to take your slightly older kids too that won't annoy you but likewise won't traumatize them. This movie is a good bet.
WHO SHOULD GO: families with older kids who aren't ready for the PG-13 movies yet, Bruckheimer fans, Cage fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five lighting balls