What do you get when you cross a mediocre cast with a dreadful script? That would be a very bored and angry audience, having just spent their money on a trip to see 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'. A bit harsh, you might say? Well compare this to such fantastical gems as 'Harry Potter' and 'The Twilight Saga', and director Jon Turteltaub's brand of hocus pocus is left in a smouldering mess on the floor.
School kid Dave Stutler (Baruchel) has been plucked straight from geekdom and plonked on the steps of Balthazar Blake's (Cage) ancient sorcerer store in the heart of New York City. After a dragon ring proves that Dave is the chosen one to take the place of the great Sorcerer Merlin, he becomes Blake's (Cage) apprentice and his life changes forever.
Fast forward 10 years, and a little bit more grown-up-looking, physics teacher Dave must put his feelings for childhood sweetheart Becky (Palmer) aside, in order to stop evil sorcerer Horvath's (Molina) bid for world domination.
Taking into consideration that Nicolas Cage's last outing was the hilariously witty and geekily chic superhero flick 'Kick Ass!', it's hard to believe that this unorganised and roughly put together film is his follow-up screen appearance. The only glimmer of hope for an otherwise dismal display of acting here is Canadian actor Baruchel's comedic performance. Reminiscent of a younger JD from 'Scrubs' mixed with professor Frink from 'The Simpsons', he carries this movie - his talents almost seem wasted on such a tragic script.
'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' trudges along, mainly focusing on how Dave fails to grasp any of the spells that Blake teaches him. Then funnily enough, as if by magic (forgive the pun), Dave is transformed into a magnificent sorcerer within a matter of minutes, even managing to take on the great Morgana. All this after Cage's character has found it difficult to make Dave wear a pair of pointy sorcerer shoes never mind become a master of his art.
The film ends with puffs of smoke and a few crackles and pops. Some mildly entertaining effects are used, like when the brooms and mops race around the room and a mirror spell is conjured up during a car chase, however the majority of them fail to impress.
It seems like Disney needs a bit of a push and a serious awakening, to be able to climb back up to their top position on the kids' movie ladder. But for now, maybe they should go back to the drawing board in case any more disasters like 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' manage to wriggle their way out.