Going into this movie, I pretty much knew what I was going to expect: magic, decent special effects, Jay Baruchel bumbling around, Nic Cage hamming it up, and me leaving entertained. Well, one of those things didn't happen. Inspired by the Fantasia segment by the same name (and yes, the segment is partially included), The Sorcerer's Apprentice begins by telling us about how Merlin had 3 apprentices: Balthazar (Nicolas Cage), Horvath (Alfred Molina), and Veronica (Monica Bellucci). Horvath ends up turning on the others and joining up with evil sorceress Morgana (Alice Krige) to bring back evil sorcerers from the dead and destroy the world. But when Veronica merges herself with Morgana, Balthazar is forced to trap her in a Grimhold--a Russian doll-within-a-doll-type object. Over the years, he also traps other descendants/apprentices of Morgana in the Grimhold over the centuries, and eventually also Horvath. Balthazar is given the task of looking throughout the centuries for Merlin's successor, the Prime Merlinian, and finds him in Dave (Jay Baruchel). Dave is supposed to have the ability to defeat Morgana once and for all, but he'll have to stop the newly released Horvath and his newest apprentice, famous magician Drake Stone (Toby Kebbell), before it necessarily gets that far. And all the while, he tries to woo a childhood crush, Becky (Teresa Palmer).

There's really not a whole lot to say about the movie that you couldn't probably suspect on your own. One thing that surprised me, however, was how they mixed magic and science. I'm not exactly sure why they did this, except maybe to have religious zealots either love or hate them even more (depending, I suppose). It looked cool, though. Some of the special effects could have been better (any of the 'statues-come-to-life' bits in particular). But they weren't too bad.

I mentioned earlier that only one of my expectations wasn't completely met. That expectation was, actually, Nic Cage hamming it up. Oh, he has his moments ("I CAN READ MINDS!" being a personal favorite), but I expected it to be more consistent. Who doesn't love a batty Nic Cage? But the majority of the time, he's just your average "mentor" character. Jay Baruchel is one of those actors you probably really like or mostly tolerate, mostly due to his voice. Personally, I really like the guy--and considering How To Train Your Dragon is one of my favorite movies of this year so far, I can honestly say his voice isn't that bothersome to me. And I really enjoyed him in this. Oh, and Alfred Molina as the villain is, well... Alfred Molina as a villain. You've seen it before.

The movie was, of course, predictable, but I didn't expect anything different. I didn't go into this movie looking for another Inception. However, there were quite a few things that were too similar to other things. For instance, they--for whatever reason--seemed to mix the original "Sorcerer's Apprentice" song from Fantasia with the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean, and it was pretty distracting. I half expected Jack Sparrow to walk on screen. Then near the end, there are these black tubes of smoke blasting from the sky, and I almost screamed out "DEATH EATERS!" Finally, I just sat there at the climax of the movie waiting (and honestly hoping) for Jay Baruchel to go "KAME... HAME... HA!" That actually might have knocked my rating for this movie up another notch, really. Though we did get a kind of "Final Flash" in there (if you know anything I'm saying right now, high five). I'm pretty sure there was one other thing I noticed in there somewhere, but I can't recall it at the moment.

Anyway, this movie was pretty good entertainment. It was predictable summer fun. There really wasn't all that much I disliked about it. Though there is one scene that has horrible ADR. Baruchel is talking to another character in a car, and the shot is over his shoulder. You can see his mouth moving, and it's nothing remotely close to what he's saying. And this happens twice. But it's mostly a pretty harmless flick. It's not great by any means, but it strove for entertaining and that's what it got.

I Am McLovin!

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