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'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' - nothing magical about it (IANS Movie Review)
Film: 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'; Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa palmer, Monica Bellucci; Director: Jon Turteltaub; Rating: ***
The underdog is a perennial Hollywood favourite and has led to two types of film. The chick-flick, like chic-lit, where a nerdy girl, like Cinderella, finds out she is indeed a queen. Or the other where an average Joe, mostly a male teenager, an object of ridicule, comes of age led by some event or some person. 'The Sorcerer's...' is the latter.
Over a thousand years back, a master sorcerer was betrayed by one of his apprentices, Maxim (Alfred Molina). Before dying he gives his most loyal apprentice Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) a dragon ring which will choose the next master. Since then Balthazar, has been fighting evil and trying to look for the next master to teach him magic.
In the year 2000 destiny leads the next apprentice, David, a boy of 10, to him but when Maxim is released, he imprisons himself with him to save the boy.
Ten years later, the boy, now a youth and still struggling with the tag of being a nerd, discovers with the help of Balthazar his true destiny, that of being the next master, when both Maxim and Blathazar are released. He trains under Balthazar, in a bid to fight off Maxim and save the world, while holding on to the teenager of his love in the process.
'The Sorcerers'...' has some really good special effects, but beyond that, it has nothing that can take it over the edge to help you remember that film. The writing is also average with a sharp wit missing, and hackneyed plots and sub-plots.
The film pays tribute to its origin - a poem by Goethe with the same name. In one scene when Balthazar leaves David because he has to meet his girlfriend, he employs the little magic that he knows, sets the broom to life to clean up the place. But when he returns after a bath, the place is full of water as the broom has run amuck.
This is almost exactly like Goethe's poem. Yet, the film advances the poem by using modern science to explain magic. In one sweep, Balthazar explains to his not so eager apprentice that whereas the normal human mind uses only 10 percent of the brain capacity, the sorcerer uses 100 percent, thus manipulating matter that seems like magic to others. Simple, yes, but too corny to explain complicated magic!
The beautiful Monica Bellucci makes a guest appearance, prompting you to the obvious conclusion, that there will be a sequel. Hope they employ better writers for this one.
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