Jon Turteltaub directed the two National Treasure films (he’s making a third one!), and now comes The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Nicolas Cage is a sorcerer who is in search for a boy that he must prepare to battle Morgana, an evil sorcerer that is trapped in a nesting doll. There are other parts to this back story, but I don’t remember or understand most of it because that opening introductory scene is very confusing.
But anyway, Nic Cage eventually stumbles upon the Jay Baruchel character, who is a socially awkward nerd. There is some introduction to this young boy, and we know he’s a nerd because he can fix electronic stuff. He also has a secret lab that he goes to every day to work on Tesla coils.
Alfred Molina appears as Nic Cage’s evil arch rival and a cute Teresa Palmer is the “Mary Jane” character. None of these people are anything special, but you do get invested in them slowly (although not fully) as the story moves along. As with all these Disney movies, the romance between the boy and girl is very contrived, but here it’s not that bad.
Halfway through the film, I was reminded of that Percy Jackson movie where they blended Greek Mythology together with real world mechanics. In this film, sorcery and magic is brought into the real world with scientific explanations. Unfortunately for all magical stories, you always ask questions like “why don’t he just use magic to do this?” and “why don’t he just use magic to do that?”
There is no clear measurement for the amount of “power” these characters possess, so I didn’t feel like anybody was in any danger. If someone dies, you can conveniently use magic to bring him back to life. I was also not on board with the whole “chosen one” concept. At least here, the hero trains and works hard in order to fulfill his destiny, which in turn makes you wonder why he is training so hard if he is “the one” anyway.
Despite its genericness, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was entertaining while it lasted and contains no adult jokes or profanity. It’s not as dramatic as the Harry Potter films, but it’s better scripted than Percy Jackson. I will recommend The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as colourful, family-friendly fun.