From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Blu-ray + DVD two-disc combo pack
Its spell wears off quickly, but “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” bubbles with enough jaunty action sequences, dazzling special effects and unabashed dorkiness to entertain adventuresome families, fantasy fans and physics nerds.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and star Nicolas Cage mixed history, myth and mysticism in the 2004 hit “National Treasure,” and the team reunites to blend science, art and magic in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Their new adventure is more amusing than truly enchanting and not nearly as captivating as the famed Mickey Mouse animated tale from “Fantasia” that inspired the film.
The movie gets off to a slow start with not one but two prologues to fog up the narrative. In Arthurian Britain, wizard Balthazar Blake (Cage), one of Merlin’s three apprentices, embarks on a mission to find the “Prime Merlinian,” a descendent of his mentor who can defeat the evil Morgana (Alice Krige) before she can escape the magical prison called the Grimhold, which resembles a giant nesting doll.
In 2000, fourth-grader Dave Stutler (Jake Cherry) wanders into Balthazar’s New York City magic shop. When Balthazar tests him with Merlin’s dragon ring, he realizes the boy is the chosen one. But Dave accidentally uses the magical ring to unlock the first layer of the Grimhold, releasing Balthazar’s nemesis Horvath (Alfred Molina). In the ensuing battle, Balthazar and Horvath get sucked into an enchanted urn that imprisons them for 10 years.
A decade later, Dave has grown into a neurotic, self-deprecating physics whiz (Jay Baruchel, of course) who has done his best to forget the encounter. But with the fate of the world in the balance, he agrees to become Balthazar’s apprentice, help him find the Grimhold and defeat Horvath, who gets his own protégé in narcissistic celebrity magician Drake Stone (Toby Kebbell).
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” has just enough bewitched NYC landmarks, shape-shifting vintage cars and, yes, out-of-control mops to conjure up Bruckheimer’s trademark brand of mindless popcorn fun.
Blu-ray features: Outtakes, deleted scenes and many making-of featurettes.