Reviewed by: Angela Bowman
|Featuring:||Nicolas Cage (Balthazar Blake), Jay Baruchel (Dave Stutler), Monica Bellucci (Veronica), Alfred Molina (Maxim Horvath), Toby Kebbell (Drake Stone), Ethan Peck, Teresa Palmer (Becky), Peyton List (Young Becky), Alice Krige (Morgana), Omar Benson Miller, Jake Cherry (Young Dave), Robert Capron (Oscar), James A. Stephens (Merlin), more »|
|Director:||Jon Turteltaub—“National Treasure,” “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” “Phenomenon,” “Cool Runnings”|
|Producer:||Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Saturn Films, Broken Road Productions, more »|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures|
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is inspired by the short animation of the same title from “Fantasia.” Dave (Jay Baruchel of “How To Train Your Dragon”), a special young man destined to be a great sorcerer, finds the fate of the world rests on his seemingly unreliable shoulders, as the evil Morgana (Alice Krige of “Chariots of Fire”), who has been trapped within a nesting doll, is destined to be released from her prison to awaken evil sorcerers from the dead and enslave the world.
Balthazar (NNicolas Cage) has been searching a thousand years for the Prime Merlinian, discovered to be Dave; the only sorcerer who is able to destroy Morgana once and for all and save the world from her wicked reign. Reluctantly, Dave agrees to be Balthazar’s apprentice, and his eyes are opened to a whole new world.
Believing in yourself and being who you were called to be, despite what others think or say, drives Dave to overcome his lack of self-esteem, and we watch as he stumbles through the learning process and struggles with self-control. The wicked sorcerer Horvath (Alfred Molina) tries to convince Dave that he “put his faith in the wrong man” and appeals to his love for Becky (Teresa Palmer), trying to sway him—being classic examples of how Satan attempts to deceive us (2 Cor. 11:14), and how we, also, must not let our hearts deceive us (Jer. 17:9). John 15:13 is reflected in characters willing to give their lives unselfishly for their loved ones, although it must be noted that allowing another soul to possess your body is not scriptural, regardless of the nobility of intention.
The most obvious objectionable material is the prevalent use of occult symbolism and witchcraft. A five-pointed star or pentagram within a circle is utilized throughout the film in various forms, and a spell is used and discussed, in which two souls are incorporated into one body; once this is referred to as a possession (being possessed). A haunting young girl who was a witch from Salem is brought back from the dead. Various characters incant spells, including a scene of a female character moving somewhat provocatively.
There are numerous skulls shown and creatures that may be frightening to younger viewers. In one scene, a spell is cast to bring back the dead, and a partially decomposed face, that is trying to come to life, is shown. Characters are killed, and sorcerer bodies combine and disintegrate into beetle-type insects and dust. There is, alos, a scene in which a pack of wolves chase a character.
Language, sex and nudity: • one instance of “oh my g-d” • children make fun of a boy who “peed” his pants • comment about having to pee • scenes of a dog urinating (and passing gas) • A character uses a urinal in a men’s restroom, although graphic nothing is shown. • Conversation about “getting drunk” and mention of sake (a Japanese alcoholic drink) • A man threatens to “cut the truth” out of someone and that a character is going to be “ground into chunks and fed to the cat.” • There is, also, a scene in which a boy is picking up something from the floor and realizes he is looking up a girl’s skirt, who is seated at a desk; we see only her legs, covered in tights. • Characters are called “freak,” “moron” and “sexy.” • There is also a kissing scene, but not obscene. • A painting depicts a male character with a scantily clad female.
While there are some great scenes, superb action sequences and effects, and an interesting basis; the script is weak in too many places, leaving the audience experience fragmented and course. After seeing such great previews, I was expecting a much better story, and it is a shame that so many great scenes were brought down for lack of flow. Most disappointing, however, are the heavy occult elements. Fantasy magic, for the purpose of entertainment, may be harmless, however, incorporating it with the occult is a serious matter. Deuteronomy 18:10-13 makes it clear that we are to have nothing to do with sorcery, witchcraft, spells and other occult practices. In fact, there are numerous scriptures on sorcery and sorcerers that after re-reading and considering, I have a changed view on the subject in fiction (Scriptures include: Exodus 22; Leviticus 19; 2 Kings 17 and 21; 2 Chronicles 33; Acts 8; Galatians 5—witchcraft). 1 Thes. 5:22 tells us to stay away from all forms of evil, and verse 21 tells us to “examine all things.”
Curious viewers are better off watching the good clips online and leaving the rest alone.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
Addition to previous comment—After my previous negative commentary I posted, I read a neutral review here by a Jacob Davis that really makes good points. I still maintain everything I said in my other comment, but I do want to clarify that it isn’t intended to be universally judgmental; it just has my personal opinions! I have known Christians like the ones he mentioned; they live in fear of anything outside their little box of rules, and judge whoever is different; they do more damage than good. So do research, but make decisions based on what you believe God is telling you… not reviews from strangers that can seem really, really contradictory when you read them all! It’s easy to blow something like this way out of proportion.
—R, age 19 (USA)
Positive—This was a very good action movie. It did have some elements of witchcraft, but if you remember all that rise-from-the-dead was stuff was from the bad guy. …it was a good teen to adult movie. I would not recommend it to under 10. I give it the equivalent of Harry Potter.
Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tristan Cowley, age 15 (USA)