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    August 14, 2010

    MOVIE REVIEW: THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE

    THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (English/PG13)
    Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy
    Release Date: 22 July 2010
    Distributor: Walt Disney
    Running Time: 111 minutes
    Director: Jon Turteltaub
    Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
    Writer: Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Matt Lopez, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal; poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Casts: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Monica Bellucci, Teresa Palmer
    Plot: Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave (Jay Baruchel), an average college student who demonstrates hidden potential as his reluctant protege. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. Dave must muster his courage to survive his training, save the city and get the girl of his dreams, as he becomes the Sorcerer's Apprentice.


    THE VERDICT

    What differentiates Daniel Radcliffe and Jay Baruchel? Radcliffe's sorcering skills require him to chant some abra-cadabra, while Baruchel's requires only the mental focus to vibrates molecules high enough to cause heat. Slightly different but one may get the idea that sorcerer lives by using the knowledge of using magic potion and some physic knowledge. After all, Albert Einstein can be a sorcerer too since he formulated that mass of a particle can be speed up into some energy! The main point is that there are so much love and hate for The Sorceror's Apprentice, Jerry Bruckheimer's second summer flick of 2010 (or rather the second dud too). Why did the movie failed to ignite some proper magical heat that should beloved by many?


    Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan fighting against the forces of evil, in particular his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), while searching for the person who will inherit Merlin's powers. This turns out to be Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a physics student at New York University, whom Balthazar takes as a reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling apprentice a crash course in the art and science of magic and sorcery, in order to stop Horvath and Morgana le Fay (Alice Krige) from destroying the world.


    The story in The Sorcerer's Apprentice is reportedly came loosely in many forms - old Disney animation called Fantasia, 1890's symphonic poem, a 1797 German ballad and of course something from the National Treasure dynamic trio too. Unfortunately, the end result is pretty much disappointing and a scar right at their own face. It has no direction to go for, always lost in deciding what the story should have or would do, and deciding where should our hero should head for. There is no consensus of anything great about the elaborated details of story, rather it stuck in the same formulaic recipe about a teenager suddenly found of his great power but went unsure if he should continue to use those gifts or not. Not a bad thing to deal with but the movie lacks the kind of grand scale epicness or inspiration that will drive motivational story forward.


    The Sorcerer's Apprentice is presented with duly motivated story and a poor script that makes it a true summer joke. I did not enjoyed the movie as much as I wanted to, while staying fun and any joyful excitements in the movie; but maybe perhaps, all I want to say is that there is none great feeling that erupts during or after the movie. It felts too shallow and too juvenile at most of its time. It's a wizardry movie that doesn't shine or creates magic - rather it stays at very minimal adventure, on Bruckheimer's standard of action and fantastical value. As you can see, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is greatly deprieved by its own untasty script. Formulaic, predictable, timid and duly! 


    Lucky enough, Cage still provides a lot of love mood because of his sarcastism and natural acting. He's vivid and manic enough to drive the movie in one of his way. Equally stunning, Alfred Molina's outing as Maxim is fortified and convincing. However good these two veterans are, there are some hiccups too. Jay Baruchel is likable but we have seen him doing the same role as someone who doubt his own ability to deliver the gifts twice this year (three if you count this in), where his same role in How To Train Your Dragon is on spot with the movie need. The major disappointment is that the character Sun Lok which has been heavily promoted lasted for only 5 minutes! Scrapped for nothing!


    IN SHORT
    In short, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is an OK fantasy family for family to watch but considering its custom made formulaic and timid story, the movie does not have any major advancement from other wizardry movie. It looks like a movie that tries so hard to impress or knock down Harry Potter for a week or two, but the power of the magical degree seems short. Jerry Bruckheimer for this year has made two magical movies that did not go down well with the audiences. Why? Maybe it's time to evaluate something! SHOULD HAVE DO BETTER!

    THE RATING
    Story - 2.5 stars
    Casts - 3.5 stars
    Cinematography - 3.5 stars
    Effects - 3.5 stars
    OVERALL - 3.0 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 12.4
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