Sunday, January 30, 2011

Movie Reviews: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

It's the coolest job ever.

Directed by: Jon Turteltaub

Written by: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Matt Lopez, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell

Primary Genres: Action/Adventure; Science Fiction/Fantasy

The sorcerer Balthazar Drake has spent over a thousand years seeking the heir to Merlin's powers, but when he finds him, the young man is more interested in pursuing his life than in learning sorcery.

In yet another film attempting to capitalize on the contemporary fantasy genre revitalized by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, a young boy -- and, after a brief adventure, a young man ten years later -- finds himself plucked out of his normal, mundane life and facing all sorts of supernatural menaces.

Unlike Percy Jackson, the film is not adapted from a young adult story, and therefore the pacing is more in keeping with a film than a children's novel. Nicolas Cage, who has a tendency to annoy, works well as Balthazar, the sorcerer; his typical over-the-job performance works well here, but manages to be sufficiently restrained. In contrast, Jay Baruchel's hapless nerdiness that worked well in She's Out of My League comes off as a bit nasal and grating. It's a fun adventure for teens but lacks some of the crossover appeal that "Harry Potter" has for adults.

My Grade: B+

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