27 December 2010

Nic Cage's Harry Potter Impression

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Jon Turteltaub

The title of this review is probably way off if Cage is really doing an impression, maybe closer to Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. If anything this is Cage in another Disney film which is strange when you’ve seen him in such adult roles like in Face/Off and this year’s film Bad Lieutenant which is a total departure from his latest offering in the teenager/children market. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a magic based teen comedy with action, comedy and life lessons. A typical Disney film behind The National Treasure films and funnily enough it’s been made by the same team with Turteltaub directing as well. Now i’m gonna be honest here, i have never seen a National Treasure film, I’ve heard good and bad things but it just doesn’t excite me enough to watch it. I’m sure i will at some point, but if i wanted to watch an action film about espionage, hidden treasures and exotic lands, I’ll watch the Indiana Jones, minus the fourth one (i’m lying here, i actually quite enjoyed the last one, there, i said it!)

Instead of having a young child actor who would constantly be in danger and give strange looks to the Nic Cage character, instead we have a much older guy, someone who we should feel sorry for and put him into our relatable world. And it kinda works. Jay Baruchel as starred in a lot of movies this year to push him up a couple of levels of the actor pyramid, ever closer to the heights of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and George Clooney. But it’s hard for a comedic person to do those heights, maybe the height of Adam Sandler, Mike Myers or someone similar. Maybe going that route isn’t the best idea. Anyway back to the film, here we have Balthazar Blake, played by Cage who after many years stumbles across this small boy, who is chosen by the ring given to him by Merlin who will become the next great wizard. The boy rejects this and runs off, leaving Blake to fight for himself after the release of a very dangerous wizard. Now bring it forward in time where the small boy is now a young man and again, he finds himself bumping into Blake again, but this time realising his potential. An evil urn is the villain of the film where several layers, similar to a Russian doll contain different evil wizards, one being the bastard Alfred Molina who constantly plagues the two in helping releasing the bottom layer, an evil witch who killed Merlin. Set in modern times, this whole wizard business is best not seen so they must train secretly whilst fighting off Molina. Also throw in the whole bit about Dave, Jay Baruchel, becoming a man and seizing what’s his along with the girl he’s always fancied and you’ve got a decent movie.

It has some great chemistry between Cage and Baruchel and has some great action sequences aimed at the younger audience. If i had to take a kid to see it i would enjoy it, it wouldn’t be a chore like most children’s films these days.


Simon Childs

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