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It's exciting, fast, intruiging, funny and breathtaking.
It's everything I didn't expect it to be.
It's definitely going in my collection.
And I'd highly recommend it as one of the most exciting and enjoyable family adventure films of the year.
Nicholas Cage and Alfred Molina are in excellent form as warring sorcerers - both give the roles their all and both bring them beautifully to life. Molina in particular is a fantastically suave English villain, and his evil apprentice is great fun.
The film is just generally fairly creative and inventive (even if the physics is extremely dubious), and very enjoyable. Its clear that effort has been put into it, and although it is a somewhat typical coming-of-age story it manages to escape the usual pitfalls associated with script-writing for teenagers/ twenty year olds. The plot is not unduly weighed down by teen angst and our young cast is not rendered obnoxious through misguided attempts to render them too hip or cool. All in all this is an excellent film to watch, either with your children or when you fancy a moderately undemanding thrill ride.
Nicolas Cage did a good performance as the character of Balthazar Blake. Secondly I wasn't entirely sure that the actor
Jay Barchuel could perform the standards of practicing the elements of magic. It was OK for him to do on screen but
I didn't like it that much. However I think that the actor Alfred Molina did a fantastic performance as Maxim Horvath. It is because that I think that he has created a beautiful talent in other films such as the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and in Spider Man Two as Doc Ock. So those are just my overall opinions on this particular film. Thank you Amazon.co.uk. Three stars all round!
The majority of the movie, however, focuses on Dave Stutler (Jake Cherry), whom first encounters Blake in an antique store at the age of 10. After witnessing the sorcerer in action, he unwittingly releases Horvath from his prison in the Grimhold. During the ensueing battle, both sorcerors are imprisoned in a chinese box with a 10-year lock. Dave, witnessing the battle, breaks a vase and wets his pants, which is witnessed by his classmates - cue troubled upbringing, with Dave being misunderstood by his peers and questioning what he saw. Fast forward 10 years, and Dave is still a little unhinged nerd, fascinated by science. The two wizards are released - and the battle ensues again...
The movie tries to blend both science and magic in a cohesive whole - which actually works well. The action and set-pieces are well constructed with some memorable special effects - personal favourite is the magic-fuelled car-chase chase through Manhattan's city streets.
Cherry is 'passable' as the geeky apprentice, and the story is about his coming-ove-age and his ascention to becoming Merlin's successor, however both Cage's and Molina's characters are so OTT (enjoyably so) that you can't help but get sucked into the rivalry throughout the film, and Stutler only really starts to become a stronger part of the story toward the last third of the movie. As mentioned previously, the effects are creative and believeable, and the film tries to balance science and magic in a fun and organic way that seems to work well. Recommendation? Far from cerebral, but still a decent Saturday night bowl O' popcorn movie!
No gore or swearing as you might expect from a typical Disney film.
Good plot, and the boys save the girls expected ending, after the vanquishing of the villains.
Running time about 105 minutes, with not too many dull moments during that time.
Recommend watching this film, and would certainly appeal to adults that like fantasy material.
Light-hearted fantasy family adventure, with elements of Harry Potter, National Treasure, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean all in the mix, and pays a lovely homage to Disney's original too.
Alfred Molina steals every scene he is in, but the rest of the cast are well chosen too, Cage is 'just a little bit mad' and Jay Baruchel plays the unwitting hero just right.
So many loose ends, that it is inevitably set up for a sequel - hope they keep it as fresh and quirky as this !