A young boy accidentally frees two of Merlin’s apprentices who are dueling each other, then 10 years later, he must help the one who still serves Merlin to stop the one who serves the evil Morgana before he unleashes her on the world in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” The film is loosely based around the story of Merlin while also incorporating “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” short from “Fantasia” to make a modern adaptation of the two stories.
This is a weird film, but I kind of liked it. It’s not really good, per se, but it has a lot of fun elements that appeals to my tastes. Nicolas Cage is his regular goofy self as Balthazar, one of the apprentices of Merlin, who is doing everything he can to stop Morgana from re-entering the world. Meanwhile, Alfred Molina provides a sinister villain as Horvath, the apprentice who leaves Merlin to follow Morgana because he is in love with Victoria, the third apprentice who is actually in love with Balthazar. He’s not quite as good as he was as Dr. Octopus in “Spiderman 2,” but he’s a worthy antagonist who carries a lot of the movie on his shoulders.
On top of those two Hollywood heavyweights, Jay Baruchel, best known for his roles as goofy, but lovable nerds in Judd Apatow films, steps up as the goofy but lovable nerd chosen to literally fill the shoes of Merlin. And, Alice Krige, who once shined as the Borg Queen in “Star Trek: First Contact” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” steps up as the evil Morgana. Overall, these actors are all perfect fits for the roles they are asked to play.
This film even has a very nice throwback to “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” short from “Fantasia.” When David needs to clean up his space before Becky, the girl he’s interested in, arrives, he tries to enchant the brooms to clean up his apartment and it goes horribly wrong. It’s a live action version of that famous scene in “Fantasia” and while it’s nowhere near as good, is still a lot of fun as a callback.
While I certainly enjoyed myself watching this film, I would never call it good. The script is lacking. The special effects can be a little cheesy and the plot isn’t really great. The actors look like they know they’re making one of the dumbest movies ever and they are having fun with it and that’s part of what make this film fun for me. If you can accept that you are not watching a classic film, but something that is mildly entertaining, it’s worth watching once. I don’t know if I’ll be watching it again, but I wouldn’t say no.
Ranking: 2.5 stars out of 5
What did you think of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?”