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Sorcerer's Apprentice, The


Stars: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell, Omar Benson Miller, Alice Krige, Monica Bellucci, Jake Cherry, James A Stephens, Gregory Woo

Director: John Turteltaub

Yet another stab at creating a franchise by multiplex-friendly producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the man who transformed a dull Disneyland ride into the profit soaked Pirates of the Caribbean blockbusters, but this is less likely to spawn a series. For a start the ‘tribute’ to the Mickey Mouse-Dukas sequence from Disney’s 1940 Fantasia manages to be both clunky and heavy-handed as title character Baruchel makes a mess of his mentor’s magic lair when magically-animated out-of-control brooms and buckets run amok. Mickey did it far, far better.

Baruchel, not as entertaining as he was in She’s Out of My League, works hard when he is chosen by 1000-plus-year-old Manhattan-based sorcerer Cage to follow in his footsteps and save the world from evil wizard Molina (equipped, like all the best Hollywood villains, with an English accent). Science student Baruchel turns out to be something of a klutz, not helped by his no cliché avoided romance with fellow student Palmer; but, naturally, he comes good in the end while Cage does most of the magic stuff with the aid of effective special effects, best of which is a metal flying dragon-bird that comes to soaring life.

Mind you, for someone who complains, “I haven’t eaten for 10 years”, Cage is surprisingly full of ham, wickedly served up in a long leather coast and sporting his finest (long-locked) wig in ages.

That said, in a week in which I was also exposed to the drivel that was The Last Airbender, at least ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ does deliver easily forgettable school holidays style entertainment in the now familiar style-free style of director Turteltaub who ushered Cage through his National Treasure franchise films.

(But what Bellucci and Krige are doing here is between them and their respective agents. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the latter).

Alan Frank

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
108 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Aug 2010