A cynically transparent fantasy flop charms a new wave of streaming fans
After the unexpected success that greeted Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, it was inevitable that Disney would try and replicate the formula across a number of different mediums, which led to nothing but failure, as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice can attest.
Even the swashbuckling sequels couldn’t recapture the magic of Jack Sparrow’s phenomenal debut, but that didn’t stop the Mouse House from churning out four additional installments, and a trio of thinly-veiled imitators. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and The Lone Ranger all took the basic ingredients that worked for Pirates, but couldn’t get the recipe to work.
Director Jon Turteltaub and star Nicolas Cage had found success under the Disney banner already with the National Treasure duology, but effects-driven fantasy clearly wasn’t the pair’s forte. While the leading man is fine as the movie’s eccentric Captain Jack substitute, the end result is more a set of boxes being ticked off than a dashing adventure with any real verve or unique sense of personality.
Franchise plans were quite obviously afoot, but nixed at the first hurdle when the $150 million production could only struggle to a $215 million box office haul. Over a decade later, though, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is providing distracting weekend entertainment for a new generation of at-home audiences.
As per FlixPatrol, the flop that helped usher out the age of Cage as a big budget star has cracked the iTunes most-watched list, a dozen years after sinking without a trace.
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