Newest Review: ... entrap in a prison, which Balthazar protects until he can find the chosen one who is prophesied to destroy the witch, Morgana. The film ... more
An entertaining modern day live action fantasy 'romp'
The Sorcerer's Apprentice (DVD)
Member Name: IzzyS
The Sorcerer's Apprentice (DVD)
Advantages: good special effects, suspenseful/gripping (if a little far fetched of course)/exciting ending
Disadvantages: cheesy, not for very young viewers
10 years after a scary encounter in New York with a sorceror by a little boy called Dave, he encounters him again and is told that he could be a 'Merlinian', a descendent of Merlin who is capable of great powers but he'll have to train if he wants to fulfill his potential and thus become the sorcerers apprentice. Dave has enough on his plate having endured 10 years of people mocking him, not believing what he claims to have seen a decade ago. However, its not just the good sorceror Balthazar (who wishes to take Dave in as his said apprentice) thats around, there's his arch nemesis Maxim Horvath to deal with. Its not long before their in a race against time to reclaim a seemingly harmless item that Maxim is determined to use his evil powers to bring an evil villainess out of - this could spell the end of good in the world forever.
Can our unlikely hero Dave learn his craft, if he even possesses the potential Balthazar sees in him and can they stop Maxim in time before evil takes hold? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
- Thoughts & Opinions -
This is very much a modern day movie but with one scene harking back to the famous sorcerors apprentice scene/section from Disney's classic Fantasia. Fantasia is much more child friendly than this movie in terms of being suitable for younger children, this movie I'd imagine would be pretty scary to toddlers and younger children below the age of eight or nine at least - the special effects are quite convincing, with one involving lots of insects (I think they were cockroaches) coming together and forming the villain (a bit like the sort of thing that featured in The Mummy, I suppose, though its not quite as scary as that, I *think* The Mummy is a 12 rate and this film is only rated PG), things like that would have scared me as a very young child.
Away from that issue, the movie itself felt perhaps a little limp, even perhaps forced at the start, after an introduction to the background of Balthazar, his story, the history that paints the scene before we rejoin our reluctant hero in the present day but as it progresses, it becomes more engrossing - yes its very much a fantasy movie, you just have to go with the story but then I really can't lower my score for this movie because of this, I mean obviously the title gives a decent clue as to the type of movie it is and its Disney, plus for its target market I don't think they've gone too far wrong, though I may find it a bit cheesy that there's the inevitable sub-plot with Dave becoming romantically involved with a girl (or desperately trying to, as he's seen as the rather socially awkward out cast, which is the norm for these movies), which again might put off younger kids who'd be bored with such a sub-plot (or think its gross that he likes a girl hehe), eh its the usual Disney fodder I suppose but I felt that overall it was a pretty solid movie, for what it is and most importantly, I was really quite engrossed in the ending, I found it quite entertaining and thought it featured some impressive scenes along the way. If your familiar with the two National Treasure movies which Nicolas Cage also played a lead role in, then this movie will perhaps seem similar and its not just because Cage appears in it but also because Jon Turteltaub directed all three movies. I would say that as a comparison, in this movie the emphasis is more on Jay Baruchel as Dave than Nicolas Cage as Balthazar.
I wonder what it is with New York somehow ending up being the place where there's supposedly so much nasty supernatural activity and the ability to summon up evil just happens to lie dormant? thinking about it, I'm reminded of the Ghostbusters movies which of course were similar, especially i think it was the sequel involving an evil possessed painting and a baby - in this movie the baby is of course love struck and rather unassuming Dave - the good ol' reluctant hero. There are some fairly fast action scenes and these are what, to me, made the movie - the storyline is perhaps a bit complicated to follow and there are some scenes which break up the faster action scenes, ie dialogue based scenes, which is another reason why I suppose younger children wouldn't necessarily enjoy this movie but its good that there's a balance between plot and visual effects. My favourite scene involves a long car chase which is very engrossing and even features a magic mirror trick, whereby Dave and Balthazar end up in a parallel version of the same road they were on before, only in this one everything is back to front I think, which made for a pretty cool effect seeing all the billboards etc. back to front.
This is a Disney fantasy movie set in modern times (well 2010 anyway), so its pretty much what you'd expect and for that, I can't really fault it, so I'm going to be generous and give it the maximum star score as I felt overall I really quite enjoyed it and although I was perhaps a bit sceptical about the storyline at first, by the end I felt gripped and I certainly thought it was entertaining with some good effects, so I can't really complain, for me its a very good movie of its type.
- Would I Recommend it? -
Yes I'd recommend this movie (see the paragraph above for more details) - its probably not perfect, well ok it isn't entirely perfect but I don't expect it to be and I think that for a Disney, live action movie for slightly older kids and teens that enjoy such action/fantasy movies, this is a perfectly decent movie. Its perhaps a bit daft but then thats the fun of it really, isn't it? and im not going to do the obvious and grump about the villain being British (or should I say English, im a Scot so thats fine by me LOL j/k!!), I think thats a long running Disney um habit...I'd rather look past that and rate and recommend this film based on how I felt about it by the time the credits rolled and I felt that it was a good movie with decent action, a good car chase scene (always have to mention that, I do love those lol), decent enough performances and some pretty impressive special effects, so its a thumbs up from me - its not perfect but hey what do you expect? its meant to be a movie for younger people anyway...
I hope this review was useful to you, thanks for taking the time to read it and thanks for all rates and comments. This review was originally posted on Ciao UK.
Summary: A modern live action movie set in present day NY, this isn't Fantasia but its not half bad!