Monday, March 07, 2011

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is ok if your standards are low

Have you ever seen a movie that you were sure was going to be horrible so you had no expectations whatsoever?  Then when the movie was finished you went "well that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be"?  This was one of those movies for me.  Oh don't get me wrong, there are some major faults with this film.  I just was way more entertained than I figured I would be.

Nic Cage is standard Nic Cage in this film.  He is very much like "The Rock" Nic Cage or even "Con Air" Nic Cage.  He even has the long hair to prove it.  He isn't quite over the top Nic Cage like in "Face/Off", but that is actually a good thing.  For the first time in years he actually looks like he is having fun and enjoying what he is doing.  He is having fun with his lines and has a fire behind his eyes way more real than the flames of "Ghost Rider" Nic Cage.  It is the first time in a long time I have seen him understand the silliness of the script and have fun with it.  It is sad, but true that this could be the best role he has played as of late.

Nic Cage plays off of his apprentice, Jay Baruchel quite well.  They have fun chemistry.  Jay is a bit more over the top than he should be, but he is for sure still having fun.  I have to say I got sick of his hand over his mouth reaction to any big magic trick.  It was inconsistent and weird.  One of the many faults this movie had.  He was really fun to watch in the signature scene when he makes the brooms/mops clean his lab.  He has a great geeky/loser quality that was put to the best use in this scene.

Speaking of that scene, really Disney?  You have run out of ideas that rides aren't even enough for you to make movies out of?  You have to take a small part of a larger film and build a story around it that really has nothing to do with the story you stole it from?  Yes I am speaking of the Mickey starring role in the film Fantasia.  The movies most famous scene.  Since this film really only uses that scene to make a vague reference to something people may know I had issues.  You see I didn't put two and two together at first.  It took me until that pivotal scene takes place for me to see it.  It was fun while it was on, but then I started to get mad.  Why even put that in?  I would have been much happier if it was left out and the name was just a coincidence.  It was a cool scene, but it made the movie far longer than it needed to be.  Which the rest of the movie did a good enough job on its own.

The story itself takes a few too long to resolve.  The ending deals way too much with characters that weren't developed enough for me to care about them.  The big baddie wasn't even scary enough to really be threatening.  It made for convoluted storytelling where simplicity was needed and wanted.  This move was great when it didn't try too hard to be anything but mindless fun.  When it strayed from that path, it sagged and ceased to be at all entertaining.  I love a great drama.  I really do.  But you really don't need sappy drama invading a fun mindless CGI actionfest.  Maybe that's just me.  It can be done well, but it takes a good writer and director, neither of which this film had.

So I went in with less than low expectations and had a fairly mediocre time by the end.  It has some great scenes and it was fun to see a glimpse of the Nic Cage I used to love.  I'm pulling for ya, old buddy.  One day you will learn to choose scripts with a keener eye.

5out of 10 stars

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