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These are the brand new adventures of Merlin, the legendary sorcerer as a young man, when he was just a servant to young Prince Arthur on the royal court of Camelot, who has soon become his best friend, and turned Arthur into a great king and a legend.
The great sorcerer Merlin has returned to Camelot, a kingdom now vulnerable to ill fates and war since the theft of the Holy Grail, its greatest gift and protection. With the help of Jack, an irascible young beggar-thief imbued with his own unruly magic, the fight against unknown dangers begins-to find the Grail, restore it to its rightful place, and bring Camelot back to its glory days.Written by
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
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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