Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Film Review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Last night I saw Jon Turteltaub's latest film The Sorcerer's Apprentice. This is the same guy that brought you National Treasure, Cool Runnings, and 3 Ninja's! I went into the movie excited. Maybe it is just the child in me but all the magic and wizardry gets me excited. Not like harry potter wizardry, but like Merlin wizardry! I was pretty pumped. So lets get started...

This is the first thing i chose to talk about because it is the strongest part of the movie. The actors and characters in this movie are ...well... magical! I am not normally a fan of Nicholas Cage. He kinda is annoying to me...except in a very few select roles... like the dad in "Kick Ass." This is another one of those roles. The part of Balthazar is perfect for Nick. He is a bit crazy and very sarcastic who wouldn't be if they had been around for over 1000 years betrayed by his best friend and having the love of his life trapped in a Russian nesting doll. He really gives a fun performance that will even make someone like me have doubts about my previous thoughts about Ol' Nick.
Jay Baruchel has been very minor roles is some past films like Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum 2, and such. He finally landed a part as the lead actor in She's out of my League which he did great in. So...sophomore slump? Nope. He is fantastic in the Sorcerer's Apprentice as Dave. His nerdy awkward brand of humor mixed with silly comments here and there is vaguely reminiscent of Michael Cera as George Michael in Arrested Development. His timing and quips are only made stronger by his odd nerd voice. Even sharing the lead role spotlight with Nicholas Cage he stands strong and shows that he can hold his own.
The villain Horvath played by Alfred Molina (whom I always love) is of course exceptional. He stuck up classy villainy plays great off of the nerd and the unkempt crazy protagonists. Horvath's straight man routine is only made better when he teams up with another villain named Drake.
Drake is a minor subcharacter that really added a lot to the movie for me. An "evil" sorcerer that has earned fame as a stage magician. He dresses like a goth and has pictures of himself covering his place. He is overly confident in his magic and doesn't realize he is the weakest sorcerer in the movie. He really made a difference in the movie for me. Wait for the scene where he is "fighting" Dave in the bathroom and giving him advice on how he should fight. Great.
The girl in the film... hot of course....but not much beyond there. She really takes a back seat to all the other great characters in the film.

The plot of the movie is not unoriginal but not completely a loss. It is a semi fresh look at sorcerery relating it to physics and science. The plot is fairly predictable for the most part but that doesn't hinder it from being super fun. The pacing of the movie was great as well as the over all tone of the film. The special effects really kinda took precedent over the plot though. The magic that happens in the movie is all very creative and interesting how the battles take place. The only disappointing thing about the magic battles is that the final show down comes to a plasma bolt fight. It was very sad at all the creative and ingenuity that went into the battle scenes in the rest of the movie were much more fun and elaborate than the magic equivalent of a western shoot out at the end. Of course this movie isn't aimed at people my age, I am aware of that, so it is forgivable because the rest of the movie really is fun. There is even a recreation of the fantasia's Sorcerer's apprentice scene with the mops.

The movie was filled with special effects that made for a very pretty picture, is the first thing that comes to mind. The look and feel of all the magic is well done. The actual cinematography is fairly standard. We don't want to get too fancy on a children's movie, but it accomplishes the task of telling the story in a easy to follow way.

Over all I would recommend this movie to people who enjoy magic, nerds, and a fun movie. While the ending was kind of abrupt and stale don't let the last 4 minutes of the movie stop you from seeing it. It even leaves it semi open ended for a sequel. Of course. Oh Disney.

Characters 9.3/10
Plot 5.2/10
Cinematography 5/10
Over All Score: 7.5/10


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