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"Merlin's Apprentice"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Merlin's Apprentice" More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

I do not think this movie was a waste of time and money. I thoroughly enjoyed it...

Author: Dhanyelle ( from United States
27 March 2006

First of all, to the person who said they wasted an "hour and a half" watching this movie...obviously they didn't see the second part. yes, this is a two-parter. I am an avid Merlin fan. I have read many books and watched many movies and television shows about could say that i am a bit obsessed. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, from beginning to end. I do realize, however, that it does not follow traditional "merlin legend" ...but then again, there isn't much true fact that we know about merlin, so how can we honestly make a factual movie...the whole point is that it is a fantasy movie, it is some one else's interpretation of the legendary enchanter we all know and love. respect this person's interpretation because it means a lot to that individual, and to many fans out there. i give much applaud to Wu and all the other people responsible for this film (not forgetting Sam merlin, i couldn't have picked a better person myself to portray merlin) and i think this is a great movie...even if it isn't a multi million dollar film...its a mini series for Christ's sake, use some imagination and fill in the gaps that the filmmakers couldn't help but leave.

thanks a lot for your time Danyelle

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Pleasantly surprised

Author: blonde_mobile_nz from New Zealand
21 April 2006

I didn't actually think this movie would be that good, but I'm a sucker for anything Arthurian, so I put watched it. It didn't start so well, but I find it hard to ever stop watching a movie halfway through, and it turned around. It wasn't totally clichéd where you know from the beginning everyone is going to live happily ever after; at times it was even slightly morbid.

And it wasn't your average Camelot film; it was what happened after the fall of Arthur and the round table, and trying to find out why it did happen.

All in all it's a good film and if you like all things Camelot, like myself, watch it.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

After the initial disappointment come many redeeming qualities

Author: maxvaughn from Arizona, USA/Hull, England
7 April 2006

Okay, first off, I nearly turned it off when the prologue began and I realized it truly was not a sequel to the beloved made-for-TV movie. The production value is low and the climax is rushed. It is missing the true tragedy and lore of the original Arthurian tales, yet at the same time holds onto the feeling of virtue and the loss of it that ended Camelot in the original legends. You can tell Richardson and Neil aren't as into the roles this time around (hey, a paycheck is a paycheck). There are some good one liners, good magic tricks, and one decent sword fight. John Reardon also stands out as being able to pull off his part with the same emotion as can be seen in the previous Merlin film. I would not call this movie a waste of time, I would call it mindless entertainment for the cheesy fantasy lover. Probably something most would prefer to catch on TV instead of spending money on.

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21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

An Unbelievable, Stupid Butchery of a Legendary Figure

Author: Xander Seavy (RiffRaffMcKinley) from United States
18 November 2006

Merlin has always been one of my favorite characters in all the wide world. I loved the original Sam Neill miniseries. Was I wrong, then, to expect this would be any good? Not at all. The film is a miserable disappointment, and deserves to vanish rapidly into the realm of forgetfulness where Queen Mab (Miranda Richardson in the original) now resides. The new characters are vapid and criminally underdeveloped... especially Brianna. Even Sam Neill seems to have dropped his acting skills at the door. While this story could have gone in any one of a thousand directions that would have been better, it had to be stupidly butchered. Never before have I been so embarrassed to watch anything, and, sadly, this has been captured on film and will now last forever.

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

unique look and creative

Author: purkntri from United States
18 April 2006

I loved the original, and found this sequel quite by accident. Nothing could compare to the first, but this one stands well on its own. I found it hard to follow at first, but if you stick with it, it makes sense. Sam and Miranda are refreshing in their roles which have received a bit of an overhaul. Garwin Sanford (Narim-Stargate SG-1,Simon-Stargate Atlantis) and John Reardon do a really good job in their roles. The pig was funny. It reminds me of the horse in the first movie. Jack's Arcimedes? Who knows. True this one does not match the time line of the first one completely, but if you are familiar with the legend of Merlin, and you have a lot of fantasy creativity you can accept the changes with some stride. Hollywood does not do things in proper order with all the pieces fitting, I learned that long ago and have stopped expecting it. Take this movie for what it is, a unique romp in the world of an exceptional wizard, wisely played by Sam Neill.

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13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

David Wu and his lack of talent - spoilers

Author: 1kirk from United Kingdom
14 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Merlin's apprentice' is a sequel to the slightly better 'Merlin'. In this latest installment, the writer, Wu, decided to ignore most of the themes (and actual plot) of the previous film and add his own unique charm. This takes the form of killing off Sam Neil, to make way for the 'young blood' acting, which is so unconvincing and stilted that the actors seem actually depressed. If you want to see a bunch of Americans, looking young and angry about Camelot (the big computerised castle), running around waving swords in dramatic moments whenever possible, 'hilarious slapstick comedy' with the bungling hero who grows spiritually at the end whilst winning over the brusque female character who is cleverly disguised as boy - oh how we cheer him on, then see Merlin's apprentice. The main villain is Conan with more clothes on, who gets killed in a final climatic battle where everyone dies, but not really as the grail (which glows fluorescent green) makes them all alive again - yay. The meaningless ending which adds a talking pig, to bring back the 'lightheartedness' of the first bit, is about as effective as the script in which clichés, clichés galore, litter the dialogue. My favourites: 'fulfill your destiny', 'pure of heart', 'fate has decided', 'please spare us', and various noises like 'Nooo', the 'I'm-evil-roar'.

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27 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Not Good

Author: Chairface-Chippendale from United States
8 March 2006

Just finished watching it.. The movie is pretty weak. The original is far better. Sam Neil is barely in this and only in flashbacks. The unknown cast is passable, but nothing in this movie seems to come into focus. Miranda Richardson is really starting to show her age. She's playing the Lady of the Lake character and seems as if she is sleepwalking thru the part. All the characters are very subdued, no passion or emotion is here.. I was expecting this film to contain a lot of magic, however quickly realized there would be none. The film defiantly is lacking the "magical" feel of the first one. Magic takes the back seat to a boring plot. And I think that is really where the movie fails. Now this movie is only 1hr 32mins, so there is far less time to develop anything compared to the 3+ hour running time of the first film. However without Sam Neils endearing performance and and such a throw out plot, this movie is a poor sequel. I would recommend you skip it, or fast forward to the Sam Neil parts.

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Long, Boring, Confused and Corny

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 February 2008

After sleeping for fifty years, the enchanter Merlin (Sam Neil) awakes weak and returns to the decadent Camelot, where he finds that the Holy Grail has vanished. With the kingdom under siege by the savage Rauskaug (Alexander Kalugin) that is helped by the evil sorceress Lady of the Lake (Miranda Richardson), Merlin seeks help with the thief and aspirant sorcerer Jack (John Reardon) to find the protection of the Holy Grail. However, he realizes that corruption has doomed Camelot.

I love movies about King Arthur, Merlin, the Holy Grail and the Knights of the Round Table. I tried to like "Merlin's Apprentice", but unfortunately it is long, boring, confused and corny. The screenplay shows a messy and silly story with many characters, but most of them are not well developed. Due to the restrained budget, the battle scenes are very weak and the scenes supposed to be funny are not. I loved the beauty of the actress Meghan Ory that I have seen for the first time, but her character Brianna should have been better developed and resolved. I did not like the performances of Christopher Jacot, Sam Neil, Miranda Richardson and Duncan Fraser. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "O Aprendiz de Merlin" ("Merlin's Apprentice")

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

More of an after-school special than an epic.

Author: innocuous from Raleigh, NC, USA
9 August 2012

While the original mini-series was more charming and quirky than an actual Arthurian epic, "Merlin's Apprentice" doesn't even rise to that level. Don't misunderstand me...I have a genuine fondness for "Merlin" and own the DVD, watching it at least once a year. But "Merlin" had a tone and a theme that make it a pleasure to watch.

"Merlin's Apprentice" has competent cinematography, good lighting, decent editing, competent sound, and a lot of other qualities that are too often overlooked in recent films.

The script and direction, however, leave a lot to be desired. The story itself really does seem to have come from an after-school special. There's a heavy-handed politically-correct attitude that is definitely intended to teach kids some lessons about life as it should be. (The character of Brian is an egregious example of this, and it is an example of outright pandering to the PC crowd.) One thing that is sadly lacking is any sense of grandeur. The magic barely rises to the level of parlor tricks, making objects fly around the room or stopping an arrow in flight.

The direction of Wu leaves a lot to be desired as well. The actors are capable of much more, but Wu fails to bring it out for the camera.

Overall, though, it's worth watching, especially if you enjoyed the original.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Very disappointing

Author: ngjcdad from United States
26 September 2008

After being tremendously impressed with 1998's "Merlin," I was excited to see that a sequel had been made. However, aside from Sam Neill as Merlin (and brief appearances by Miranda Richardson as the Lady of the Lake), there is no comparison to its much superior predecessor! The original had amazing special effects, a great cast, and wonderful performances. This has a handful of unknown and unimpressive actors walking around. (Picture a low-rent "Lord of the Rings"!) No surprises and nothing to impress. I only rate it as high as a "3" because I am such a fan of Arthurian legend, but even Arthurian fans shouldn't waste any time or money here!

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