Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell, Monica Bellucci

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Writer(s): Lawrence Kenner, Mark Rosenthal

Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli

Original Score: Trevor Rabin

Running Time: 111 Mins.

Every once and a while a film comes along and sweeps you along with its cheer sense of fun and enjoyable escapism that you struggle to find anything wrong despite many glaring flaws should you dissect or dig too deeply into the film-making prowess on display. That The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is one of those film’s comes as little surprise given it comes from the king of enjoyable escapism, Jerry Bruckheimer, his is a brand, a mark, a sign that represents what the multiplex should be all about, having fun and really enjoying a film and upon leaving the cinema having a big smile on your face…even if later the same evening you can’t quite pinpoint specifics as to why!

As Bruckheimer has stepped away from the more adult fare of the 90’s such as The Rock and Con Air and has tailored his films to the family demographic, starting with the first Pirates of the Caribbean and building on that with action romps such as National Treasure and this years Prince of Persia it was never going to be long before he found a project that dealt with wizards and magic in a much more refined sense, similarly Cage is a star that has worked with Bruckheimer umpteen times and has also similarly moved into more family friendly fare, with this in mind it would seem a natural course of events to expect Cage to realise a fully fledged sorcerer in his inimitable eccentric style.

Johnny Depp was handed the role of Jack Sparrow and similarly made the character his own, Cage surprisingly chooses not to do his wild eyes schtick rather he opts for a classic mentor take, incredulous and stern with wisdom that hints at his super-old age. As The Sorcerer’s Apprentice proves a little crazy-Cage goes a long way and a nod or wink here or there gives the character more than enough eccentricity, not a classic performance by the man then in that sense but certainly a well-judged and one full of fun that will undoubtedly rub off on the audience, an audience who here is represented by Jay Baruchel’s titular apprentice.

Baruchel has proven himself a hugely likeable lead and here this proves to be no exception, unfortunately his character is a little less rounded than you might hope as scripting is not The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s forte, rather casting is, bringing an otherwise pedestrian script to life (other than Cage and Baruchel) is a handful of great character actors including Alfred Molina and soon-to-be-a-megastar Toby Kebbell, the latter being the perfect foil and evil half to Baruchel in spirit having tremendous fun with an egotistical conjuror while Molina takes any eccentricities Cage left at the door and runs with it.

The final leg in this particularly joyous adventure is the excellent use of effects, there is little doubt that the budget was sky high for this and it is all up there for you s=too see, a dragon here, a flying eagle there, and many magical showdowns between sorcerer’s everywhere. Blended perfectly throughout the (largely convoluted) plot, spun off from a segment of Disney’s Fantasia no less and given more than just a passing nod, you are given little time to consider much more than what a joyous event is occurring onscreen in front of you, a sniffy critic with no sense of spectacle (or humour!) could find fault aplenty alas this was never designed to win over the critics, something that makes escapist cinema all the better for it….the perfect counter balance to all the seriousness of Inception!

VERDICT

If what you want from a film is enjoyment there is little doubt that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice delivers in spades, however seek fault in what is intended as pure pleasure and you will likely find it though this will not be down to the cast who are all in on the spectacle and dare I say…magic!

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