We know Nic Cage needs the money, but come on. The Sorcerer's Apprentice actually looked like it could be fun, and if all you're looking for is a light show, then you may be satiated, but for the rest of you who are looking for a good couple of hours at the cinema with a few good characters, well, you'll probably be disappointed.
This is not to say The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a bad movie, just not a good one. Even the pedigree Alfred Molina brings to villain Maxim Horvath can't liven things up. Jay Baruchel gives the movie a little edge and plays his part well, but the part he's asked to play is rather by-the-numbers.
You'd think a story about a kid who gets marked as a great sorcerer from an early age who is then approached in his college years to develop those sorcery skills, yet is only interested in bagging the girl of his dreams would at least be amusing. I suppose it has its moments, but most of the comedy is derived from Baruchel and Cage bickering with each other while the fate of the world is in the balance, and it gets old after a while.
Monica Belluci sexes things up a bit, and Teresa Palmer is fun to look at, being Baruchel's object of affection. The special effects aren't bad, and the action set pieces are well-orchestrated by director Jon Turteltaub, but that's exactly what they are- set pieces. The film strings a bunch of them together, slogging the actors from one to the next with so little joy, you wonder whether producer Jeremy Bruckheimer was asleep at the wheel.
Even the recreation of the classic Fantasia broom sequence lacks soul, further cementing the concept that computer generated effects are hardly tantamount to magic. This doesn't meant the film is poorly directed. Turteltaub does keep the pace in line and knows what the camera needs to see, but it's the things he's been relegated (or chosen) to capture that just don't sell well.
When it's all said and done, The Sorcerer's Apprentice only amounts to little more than a two hour distraction rather than an attraction. If you're in the mood for magic, you'd be better off watching Fantasia for the umpteenth time.