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The Sorcerer's Apprentice


Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Jon Turteltaub 
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Alfred Molina, Tony Kebbell, Jay Barucha  
An image from The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Old Disney meets new Disney in this live-action adaptation of a short segment from the studio’s much-loved animated classic Fantasia. The story is transposed to present-day New York, where wild-eyed sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Cage) is trying to protect the city from the evil wizard Maxim Horvath (Molina) and the equally dastardly illusionist (Kebbell), whom Horvath has enlisted to help him carry out his evil plot. Blake decides to adopt a sidekick of his own, and recruits Dave Stutler (Baruchal), an apparently ordinary guy who is initially reluctant to get involved with the mystical forces that he barely understands. Stutler becomes Blake’s apprentice and receives rudimentary training in the art of sorcery, before embarking on an epic battle of good versus evil in trying to save Manhattan from imminent destruction.

The special effects are undeniably spectacular, just as the story is predictably idiotic. There is a handful of amusing one-liners, but all in all, we are here for the fiery dragons and fast-paced car chases rather than the witty dialogue. Jay Baruchal is likeable enough, playing an out-of-his-depth dweeb in the same mould as his She’s Out of My League protagonist. After his twisted and challenging role as the corrupt cop in Bad Lieutenant, Cage is back in less demanding territory in the sort of big-budget action movie role he could probably perform in his sleep. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has Cage reuniting with National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub, who knows what is expected from a comedy adventure, providing a fun fantasy romp that is unlikely to require much deep thought or detailed understanding. Just enjoy the CGI thrills and the imaginative action sequences, and don’t waste time worrying too much about anything else.

Shoshana Eilon

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Autumn Term (35mm)