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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Reviewed by Cyndi Menegaz

The Walt Disney Company’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice reunites the National Treasure team (producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and star Nicholas Cage) in an energy-filled supernatural adventure complete with cool magic,  fast cars and romance.   The story is loosely based on the beloved animated short of the same name seen in Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia, which in turn was inspired by the 1797 German poem by Johann Goethe.  In the 2010 film version, we learn that Merlin the Magician had three apprentices:  Horvath (Albert Molina), who betrays Merlin and sides with the evil Morgana;  Victoria, who becomes trapped with Morgana in a vessel; and Balthazar (Nicholas Cage) who must locate the only sorcerer capable of destroying Morgana forever.  So begins Balthazar’s centuries long quest which ends with his discovery of Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel.)  

At 20 years old, Dave is a socially awkward but brilliant physics student at NYU with a crush on Becky (Teresa Palmer), a girl far out of his league.  How could he possibly be the descendant of the fabled Merlin, charged with saving the world from the clutches of evil?  Balthazar soon has him on a crash course in the ways of magic – a cool blend of modern science and age-old sorcery – but Dave is a reluctant protégé and high jinx ensue.  Self-confidence is the one thing Balthazar can’t teach Dave, and it’s the one thing he’ll need to fulfill his destiny (and get the girl!) 

Much of this story feels like we’ve seen it before – it’s certainly formulaic and crosses much traveled cinematic terrain.  However, the characters and their relationships are engaging and their quest is just a whole lot of fun.  Laughs are gratefully abundant and the special effects are worthy of the genre. 

The film is geared for families, but due to creepy and possibly frightening depictions of supernatural beings and events, it’s most appropriate for children aged 10 and up.   

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