The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Review

Published 5 years ago by

The Sorcerers Apprentice The Sorcerers Apprentice Review

Screen Rant’s Paul Young Reviews The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

It’s really not that big of a surprise to me that I walked out of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice screening completely entertained after enjoying every minute of the film. To date, I have enjoyed everything that Jerry Bruckheimer, Jon Turteltaub, and Nicholas Cage work on together for Disney, which consists of both National Treasure films.

In fact, if you enjoyed both of those previous films then there is no reason why you shouldn’t also enjoy this one. The formula for storytelling has remained pretty much the same and just like it did before, it works magic (see what I did there?).

The movie opens some time in the Medieval Age, in the castle of the legendary Arthurian wizard Merlin. With an overly heavy-handed and drawn out voiceover, we are told that Merlin has three apprentices: Balthazar (Nicolas Cage), Horvath (Alfred Molina) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci), who are trying to protect Merlin and his dangerous spell – generically titled  “The Rising” – from falling into the hands of the evil sorceress Morgana (Alice Krige).

As we already know from the trailers, Horvath turns against his aged master and helps Morgana steal the spell and kill Merlin. In the process of trying to fight off and capture Morgana, Veronica performs a “Soul Merging” spell to trap them together in one body. In the process, Veronica’s soul becomes entangled with Morgana’s and Balthazar has to trap them both in a nesting doll to protect the world from Morgana ever using The Rising spell.

Balthazar then sets off on a centuries-long quest to hunt down dangerous Morganian sorcerers all over the world, trapping each in the subsequently larger levels of the nesting doll. At the same time he is also looking for the “Prime Merlinian,” who Merlin said is the only person who will be able to defeat Morgana and her magic, should she ever return.

After centuries of hopeful meetings with children who are potential contenders don’t pan out, Balthazar finally meets 10 year old Dave Stutler (Jake Cherry and later Jay Baruchel) by pure chance (or is it?), immediately recognizes his natural ability for sorcery and offers him an apprenticeship. Unfortunately, Dave is a bit of a klutz and sets Horvath free; the evil sorcerer picks up right where he left off in a major battle with Balthazar, while trying to free Morgana. After another 10-year-long trapping (and some rather impressive CGI) both sorcerers are freed once again and the hunt for the nesting doll trap starts again.

The Sorcerers Apprentice new photo Nicolas Cage bird 570x379 The Sorcerers Apprentice Review

I don’t want to give away the whole movie because it was a lot of fun to watch, but just like any family friendly Disney film, the good guys win in the end.

There were several things I liked about this film: the visual effects were crazy-good, and while the story was predictable (but enjoyable), the acting was above par. Yes, it’s true: Nicolas Cage could be starting some sort of good acting chain with his performances in Kick Ass and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. He’s a bit zany but driven in his cause to find his apprentice and he pulls off the sometimes subtle humor very well. There is nothing bad to say about Alfred Molina’s performance because he’s just as good here as he was in his previous roles – like his role as Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2, Molina has the ability to play a very good bad guy with enough depth to keep the character from becoming one-dimensional, while at the same time not going so deep that he overshadows the rest of the film.

Monica Bellucci is given little to no lines but she sure looks pretty on screen – and Alice Krige plays Morgana as the over-the-top, “bent on destroying the world as we know it,” evil sorceress that one might expect.

While I liked Jay Baruchel’s performance, it didn’t really strike me as a high note in his career – and I think it’s because he is starting to play every character with the same mannerisms. Robert De Niro, John Malkovich and Al Pacino all have the same problem (if you can call it that). Whenever you see them on screen playing a character, it’s De Niro, Malkovich and Pacino playing a character and not a character on screen being played by them.

Baruchel is quickly developing that same problem, except all of his characters so far have been sort of mousy, hesitant and borderline annoying.

The standout performance for me was Toby Kebbel (Rocknrolla) as Drake Stone, Horvath’s apprentice. His young, flamboyant, cocksure magician was a mixture of Liberace, David Blaine and a mega-rock star all tossed together to create this über-magician full of wit. He was a joy to watch.

I think Disney really passed up an opportunity to destroy The Last Airbender in theaters over the July 4th weekend, because honestly, families didn’t have much to choose from in the way of good family-friendly action films and this film would have been a much-appreciated option.

Bottom line: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice should be right up your alley if you are in the mood for an enjoyable action/adventure film that isn’t animated.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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  1. Thanks for the review Paul. Am taking my wife and daughter to see it this coming weekend.

  2. Thanks for the review. What is this rated?

    • Aknot,

      It’s PG.


  3. Yeah…I’m with INCEPTION

  4. “If you’re looking for a family-friendly film filled with magic, action, humor and impressive visual effects, AND A REALLY BAD ACTOR”……

    Inception for me, have to pass on Cage,

  5. Cage is a good actor,just that he chooses to act in crappy movies……his best wil always be Face/off………Inception Please!!!!!!

    • i liked cages national treasure movies best…face/off made me mad, i expected more from a Woo film

  6. I always enjoy Cage in a movie, good or bad, his performance in Bad Lieutenant was absolutely excellent.

  7. Yeah but the movie sucked to me……like knowing as well…..

  8. Yeah, it’s unfortunate that Sorcerer’s Apprentice has to open against Inception even though they are going for to vastly different audiences. If you skip it this week make sure to catch it next week. It really is worth the viewing.

    • Its one of those weird things, why release against a film like Inception, why not wait a week either way.

      • Inception and Sorcerer’s Apprentice target completely different audiences.


        • i really wasnt gonna give inception a chance, just not into dicaprio like everyone else is. but, im starting to think again about seeing this one

          • Vic,
            I’m not sure how true that is. I want to see both films, obviously I want to see Inception more than this.

            What rating is Inception anyway?

            • DrSamBeckett,

              Sure they are – Sorcerer is a PG/Bruckheimer fluffy summer popcorn film to bring the kids to, while Inception is a PG-13, complex film dealing with espionage and emotional issues.


        • They may target different audiences, but as shown right here there are plenty of people interested in both.

          Personally I have no interest in this film it’s not at all my type of film and it looks pretty cheesy, but I feel bad for those who want to see it and Inception especially if they don’t halve alot of money and can aford two movies in one week or even one month.

  9. Thanks for the review Paul. My boys want to see Dispicable Me but I didn’t know this movie was coming out this weekend; they may choose this one instead, which I wouldn’t mind seeing. It’s hard to choose which movie (this or Inception) will win out this weekend. Inception, I’m sure, will be the better movie but kids won’t be interested in it. I guess I’ll see Inception later this weekend after taking the boys to see Dispicable Me or Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

  10. I really enjoyed Despicable me;)

  11. going to see this tomorrow.

  12. I’ll probably see this but this weekend, my main goal is to see Inception. That movie really looks amazing. I have insanely high hopes for it.

  13. So why not settle it for a 4-star then if it was good. I’m still to see it by the way ;-) I’m just askin.

    • Well I’ll tell ya…the voiceover work at the beginning was slightly annoying and could have been scaled way back. A few scenes felt rushed or forced and the ending was sort of a cop out as far as epic battles between sorcerers go.

      I could nitpick the entire film but it was more enjoyable to me that a 3 but I just couldn’t give it a 4 for the above reasons.

  14. If anyone is wondering, if I had reviewed the film I would have pretty much agreed with Paul. I probably would have only given it a 3/5 though.


    • Have not seen it Vic and probably won’t until it’s in the dollar theater, but from what I’ve seen of it based on trailers and who all is involved I’d say it looks more like a 3 instead of a 3.5 like you said.

  15. Lol!!!!! Daniel the dollar theater?!? Ill just wait till red box lol!!!

  16. Yeah I don’t think I want to watch this.

  17. Dollar theater yes. I hate red box and net flux I refuse to support them major company like Blockbuster and movie gallery. These companys come out people eat em all up and hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs.

  18. I caught this yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a very touching love story type of scene that was delightfully surprising.

    I will definately be buying this one on BluRay after I’ve nabbed PREDATORS and of course INCEPTION.

  19. saw inception yesterday.. brilliant… now going to see this tomorrow.. hope its worth the time..

  20. @mai, the only way I would watch, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” would be:
    A- if I was kidnapped and coerced by force…
    B- if I was paid large amounts of cash,,,


  21. 18 Million after releasing 2 days early is laughable.

  22. Vic,

    That link looks less then legitimate; after all who would be able to show this movie on line and for free and do iot legally?

    I can’t believe no ones said anything about the link.

    • BlueCollarCritic,

      The site has been inundated with comments lately and it’s been difficult to keep up with them all. That one has been flagged as spam, thanks for pointing it out.


  23. Hmmm… I haven’t watched this movie but after reading the review I totaly want to watch this and 3.5 rating is pretty good I think.

  24. The movie was very predictable but was very fun to watch. it was MUCH better then the Last Airbender. I also had some laughs, but nothing was worth laughing out loud for.

  25. omg i totally loved this movie. i so want it for my psp if i can find it lol if not ill just get the dvd cause its so worth it. its hilarious.