Saturday, January 15, 2011

Film Review - The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is the latest production from veteran producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the story here is that there were three apprentices to the ancient wizard Merlin, Balthazar (Nicolas Cage), Veronica (Monica Bellucci) and Horvath (Alfred Molina), throughout the centuries these three clashed against the evil sorceress Morgana, but in the end, there can be only one that is powerful enough to defeat her for good.

Now some of you might be surprised at the use of "There can be Only One" from the Highlander series, well not so good readers as this movie actually reminded me quite a bit of the first Highlander movie from 1986, I mean you have Nicolas Cage in the Ramirez role, Jay Baruchel (more on him later) in the Connor MacLeod slot, Alfred Molina in the Kurgan role (though he behaves more like General Katana from Highlander 2) and Teresa Palmer filling the Brenda role.

But why am I comparing the two exactly, mainly because this film like that one, had a real spirit and mythology that was interesting and worth following, unfortunately for this film though the potential to become a cult classic like Highlander doesn't quite get there mainly because of Baruchel, it's exactly the same problem I had with Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the centre of the film is a whiny little geek who whinges about anything and everything and would rather pine after a girl that in the real world would dismiss him completely then become a man who's destined for something greater, whatever happened to the good old days of movie heroes where the main leads were confident, self assured and willing to grab their task by the horns and do what's right.

I'll tell you where, it disappeared when Tobey Maguire did his little whinging act in the original Spider-Man movies and since those were mega buck box office hits, everyone since has gone "if we make the hero a nerd who's unassured about himself and lacking in self confidence, audiences will relate to him more" well that might have worked with some but not with me, I have really had enough of this and I wish it would stop, it's really hurting these action adventure movies to the point where it's hard to care about anything that's happening on screen.

But despite all that, this movie did have some real promise and it certainly held my interest enough to recommend it, thanks to Cage and Molina who hold their own well and the interesting sorcerer story, the love story and pimply little git that centres this movie, I could have lived without, at least in Highlander both of those elements were made important as well as the mythical stuff.

All right, time to wrap this review up, a promising fantasy movie that sadly doesn't quite feel the Quickening and live up to its full potential, 2 out of 5.

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