Merlin had three apprentices: Balthazar (Nicolas Cage), Maxim (Alfred Molina) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci). But Maxim betrayed him and worked together with Merlin’s nemesis Morgana. By sacrificing herself, Veronica traps Morgana and herself in a nestling doll, Merlin dies, Maxim flees and Balthazar remains to clean up the mess. Which includes finding the Prime Merlinian, who will be Merlin’s successor – and the only one able to defeat Morgana for good.
Very many years later (meaning: today), Balthazar is in New York and stumbles upon David (Jay Baruchel) – a clumsy nerd living in his own dream world, who turns out to be the seeked after Prime Merlinian.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice sucks. But since everybody involved knows and accepts that the quality of the movie is less than optimal, they’re having a lot of fun with it. Which means that the audience has a lot of fun as well. It won’t win any awards, it won’t become my favourite movie, but it passes the time nicely.
By minute 5 the latest, you know what kind of movie your seeing. The scene goes something like this:
Voiceover: Merlin had three apprentices. He should have trusted only two.
[Maxim injures Merlin.]
Merlin: [in the hammiest way possible] So you betray me!
Voiceover: And so Merlin was betrayed.
Me: [starts laughing uncontrollably]
If you think that’s funny, you’re going to love The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Because the filmmakers obviously thought it was funny as well – and that’s how they made the whole film.
I mean, they have a “these are not the droids you’re looking for” moment where Alfred Molina tells somebody to give him an address, and one character actually says “these are not the droids you’re looking for”. And they have a broomstick scene. Of course.
The pacing is nice and the cast does a good job at hamming it up [if it wasn’t for Kick-Ass, I’d probably say that this is the best Nicolas Cage film in a very long time]. Nicolas Cage’s costume is so far over the top that it comes out on the other side and is actually pretty awesome.
But apart from the very nice self-referential moments, the movie doesn’t really have much to offer. The characters are bland, the story is flimsy, there are more stereotypes in any given minute of the film than in your average episode of Two and a Half Men and they actually use the words “Prime Merlinian” several times. But since that pretty much what you’d expect, at least it’s not a disappointment.
What actually physically hurt, though, was them trying to combine physics and magic. Holy shit, somebody really doesn’t understand science there… or Tesla coils.
Summarising: the movie sucks. The good thing is that nobody cares.