The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

It’s an ironic kind of blessing when the tag “Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films present” is appended to a film’s opening titles. You know to brace yourself on seeing it. The casual moviegoer can step outside – forewarned is forearmed – but the reviewer can’t do anything but hunch her shoulders and prepare for an overdose of the franchise effect. Jon Turteltaub’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is straight off the studio menu. Enduring it is the cinematic equivalent of walking into a Denny’s, ordering a Grand Slam, deciding it’s not plasticky enough for your taste, and eating a Frisbee instead. It’s one part latex, one part sodium, one part sawdust beef and one part American cheese, but it comes off as 100% polyethylene. It’s a plate of predictability, and your heart breaks over the fact that it is so predictable – so much the norm. People gave Turteltaub too many dollars when his National Treasure screened, feeding the beast, spoiling its palate, making the monster even more monstrous. Inspired by the pseudo-Steampunk aesthetic of countless by-the-numbers Hollywood tent-poles, Turteltaub tries to convince us that a leather-clad Nic Cage and his braying donkey of a co-star (Jay Baruchel) jumping through special effects blurred to warp speed constitutes movie magic in the average viewer’s eyes. We know better.

Full review and comments below the fold.