Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
Although the film, as its title shows, is ultimately based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's famous German poem "Der Zauberlehrling" from 1797 (which inspired the piece of music by Paul Dukas from 1897, also briefly heard here, which in turn was used in the adaptation in "Fantasia" starring Mickey Mouse), the German version completely missed this connection, translating the title instead as "Duell der Zauberer" (Duel of the Sorcerers). See more »
Before the scene with the mops, Dave picks up the can of soda and as he turns away, the heel of his foot sinks into the floor a little. You can tell it's a set, because the "floor" is actually tile. See more »
The war between Sorcerers was fought in the shadows of history, and the fate of mankind rested with the just and powerful Merlin. He told his secrets to three trusted apprentices: Balthazar, Veronica, and Horvath. He should have trusted only two.
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During the opening credits the sound effects of the Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films sequences are replaced with sound effects from the film (sounds of spell casting and Tesla discharge). See more »
The same people who to me are surprisingly rudely negative about this film would probably say I'm too easily pleased, but I enjoy movies as escapism for the most part and see no need to pick this very enjoyable vehicle to death. Actually, some early negatives I'd read had me worried that I would be irritated I spent the money, instead I've already decided to buy this when it comes out.
Overall, I'd say if you like romping easy movies like The Mummy, National Treasure, and Lake Placid you'll like this, plus refreshingly (without being sickeningly sweet) there is not one swear word or sexed-up scene, so take the older kids and Grandma. I thought Nicolas Cage was excellent, he looked great and can wear a leather duster better than most, and there was some nice chemistry between Cage and Baruchel. Alred Molina looked like he was having fun and is such an enjoyable villain. Baruchel does a good job - he is so geeky at times it is a tad painful - and I found myself rooting for him. The 2 main female characters are lovely and appealing personalities.
More pluses: A lively pace and I never lost interest plus a fair number of laughs. Some interesting character twists with the oily young rock-star magician helping Molina, and some very funny cheeky nods to the original animated Fanatasia - watch for the nod to Star Wars. Great and interesting special effects that made sense when they were used. Even the way the actors moved when they were doing magic was very good (for some reason the wand-waving in Harry Potter sometimes reminds me of people using a flyswatter or shaking a bug off a stick, that didn't happen in this film).
So no, this isn't some classic of cinema, it is what it is and is a bit thin here and there, but it's also quite good for a "magical romp" and is in no way a bad film or a waste of money. I could have done without the occasional background songs which seemed designed to emphasize romantic angst or appeal to young teenagers, but that was bearable. I saw this at an early evening show and there were not many people in the theater, but we all laughed and there was applause at the end, and we left the theater smiling. Personally I think the critics panning this are full of BS or are trying to prove what intellectuals they are. In the meantime see this with your family or take your friends, and then go out and get some ice cream and sit outside and enjoy summer. Hope they make a sequel, too.
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