Nicolas Cage in: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Released in 2010 ▪ Review posted April 27, 2014

“No, I’ll not weep:

I have full cause of weeping; but this heart

Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,

Or ere I’ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!”

King Lear (Act II, Scene 4)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is total nonsense. I’d call this movie a train wreck but that implies it had a single coherent vision that derailed. At several moments during this film, which the entire editorial staff of Cage Match watched together, multiple staff members commented on how it was inspiring thoughts of suicide. Our publisher resolutely refused to finish watching.

Everything about The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is not just awful, but was also created to sell this stupid song apparently, which you hear at least four times before the movie is over. To be honest, I’m not sure what I was expecting. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is another outing from Jon Turteltaub, a director Nic Cage has collaborated with before. I could go on for a couple of paragraphs about what a piece of shit this guy is, but I already did that here.

Nicolas Cage does nothing in this movie. Nothing. He just appears on screen and says things. Those things don’t make sense. He puts no effort into trying to make them make sense. Even Alfred Molina delivers a one-note overture of boredom. I want to give Nic Cage more of the blame, but if you can’t get an engaging performance out of Alfred Molina, then you have failed as a filmmaker, and probably also as a person.

To further illustrate how bad The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was, it took me two tries to finish reviewing it. The first time, I was under the influence of hallucinatory drugs. The publisher rejected my scathing, gonzo essay on the grounds that no proper evaluation of Cage’s performance could be made in such a state. That review was complimentary compared to this, so I guess he was right. You can take my word for it: I’ve watched The Sorcerer’s Apprentice twice, and you should avoid it at all costs.

I’m afraid I might be taken to task for discussing my loathing of this film only in generalities, but part of the horror of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is that it deals only in generalities. It has the same formula that most other modern action movies have. It doesn’t justify plot points. It lacks storytelling ability and cinematic patience. The story answers all questions either with “because of magic” or “there’s no time to explain.” Things literally just…happen. It combines incorrectly used science words with incorrect references to Arthurian legend. It’s like watching a movie adaptation of an art therapy collage made by an institutionalized psychotic who’s obsessed with wizards and Tesla.

After the movie ended, my Apple TV reverted to a screensaver of pictures of kittens. I watched this slideshow with more engagement than any part of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. At least the cats weren’t openly racist. Did I forget to mention that this movie almost aggressively mocks Asians? Oh yeah. It conflates Asian cultures and languages for the sake of a laugh that never comes. It’s an ungodly nightmare. This is honestly a more coherent piece of filmmaking.

There’s also Jay Baruchel. What the fuck is with this guy? Who gave him a movie career? He’s more uncomfortable to watch than whatever this is. Is this the pablum we’re selling to our kids as entertainment? It’s just one long, repetitive music video of glued-together plot points.

I can’t write another word about this awful movie without losing my mind.

How was the movie?
How was Nic Cage’s acting?
Boring and uninspired
Did his performance make the movie worse?
No, it was terrible all on its own