‘“I’m going to kill you, Dave. Oh yes, right here, in this dismal bathroom. It’s not very classy, but there you go.”
– Maxim Horvath
I’m a bit nervous writing this review, because I think it’ll either attract a bunch of nerds who are secretly just like me, or—in the more likely case—I’ll drive away readers due to the fact that I actually enjoyed this movie.
There’s also the scenario of nobody caring one way or the other what I think, but I’ll set that one aside. For those who do read this review, though, note that it is indeed free of spoilers.
So, here goes: I liked this movie. Quite a bit.
Is it clichéd? Absolutely!
And I mean really clichéd. At one point the villain walks up to someone behind a desk and asks for a file, and the man replies, “First I’ll need to see your faculty identification card.”
At this the villain holds up his cane, glowing with magic, and says, “You don’t need to see my faculty identification card.”
And the man replies, “I don’t need to see your identification card.”
It’s that kind of movie.
And I think that’s partially why I enjoyed it. To me, clichés are a best friend I can’t decide if I love or hate. I’m currently on a quest to drive them out of my manuscript, which I think I’ve done with reasonable success. I know there’s nothing that sets people off more than opening a book to orphaned farm boys, maniacal dark lords, conspiring uncles and wicked step sisters, though these elements in moderation can be perfectly enjoyable.
This film, in short, is about a New York City college kid named Dave who is found by a sorcerer, Balthazar Blake (who studied under Merlin…yes, the Merlin). Now Balthazar needs to teach Dave how to defeat Maxim Horvath…a man who is working for Morgana le Fay, Merlin’s greatest enemy, to destroy New York. So, it’s Balthazar and Dave against Horvath and Morgana.
I agree, the concept is so hammy it should be served on a plate alongside scalloped potatoes. But if you get it into your head that this will be a clichéd movie, then you’re in for a pleasant thrill ride. It’s handled by the same team that made the National Treasure movies, right down to Nicolas Cage as the main character.
Let’s talk about Nicolas Cage for a minute. I know plenty of people who both like and dislike him. I think he gets very into every role he’s given, and he’s simply been given some bad roles in recent years (who can forget the Wicker Man’s “Not the bees!” moment?) However, I firmly believe this movie wouldn’t be worth watching if Cage wasn’t the lead. This is one of his better roles, however you want to interpret that.
So, yes. The acting is fit for the movie. The characters are corny, but reasonably likable. Most of my enjoyment came from the excellent CGI effects, the fun albeit simple storyline, and the adventure to be had between the magic battles and car chases. All the thrills of a PG-13 film are packed into a PG movie.
I realize I might seem like a foolish blogger (I hope I’m not the first one you’ve met) since I recently reviewed Breaking Dawn: Part 2 and gave it an awful rating. Some people hold Sorcerer’s Apprentice on the same level, but my argument is that at the very least, this has a storyline. Plus it has magic…lots and lots of magic.
In conclusion: See this movie! Either you’ll laugh at it because you’ll think it’s stupid, or you’ll get sucked into the fun like I did. It won’t blow you away in either case, but in both instances you’ll be entertained.
Rate: 6 out of 10.