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 »
When trying to explain to Dave the difference between sorcerers and humans, Balthazar says that humans use only ten percent of their brains. This is a popular urban legend, and is completely false. But Balthazar only asks, "You've heard that humans only use 10% of their brains?" He NOT stating that error, he's merely asking David if he's heard of it. 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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There is a very brief (30 seconds or less) scene at the very end. SPOILER: The scene opens in the store Arcana Cabana, where we see the Mickey sorcerer hat under glass, then Horvath's hat, followed by a hand (Obviously Horvath, since we see his cane as well) picking it up and a roach left behind. See more »
Overall, this is entertaining and well done. The effects are not revolutionary but at least fit in to the story rather than detract from it. No violence or mayhem - its OK for a younger to general audience. Main fault is the hero Dave played by Jay Baruchel isn't up to the part.
The script is pleasant if predictable - does the nerd hero rise to the task and vanquish the evil forces. There could have been more historical witches besides Abigail Williams of Salem. There are some humorous bits but not too many.
Acting is better than expected. Nicholas Cage is quite good more serious and less horsey than usual. Monica looks a little older and has too little screen time. Alfred Molina is convincing without being annoying. Alice Krige (Morgana) is good and looks young. Teresa Palmer (Becky) the girlfriend acts and looks like a blonde Kristen Stewart.
The main problem is Jay Baruchel (Dave) is a too geeky to the point of spastic sometimes. It is painful to watch him. He lacks charm and charisma nerdy or otherwise. He is not a cute geek. He speaks like he has a speech impediment. Would have been better with someone more like Shia Labeouf, Justin Long or Michael Angarano if they wanted one of the new nerd/geek heroes.
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