Posted by: sisterhosea | July 26, 2010

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Remaking old stories is nothing new in the entertainment world. The legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table have been the subject of big and small screen fare for many years. For the past two years in North American, the BBC import TV show, Merlin, starring Colin Morgan, has been airing on the SyFy channel. The new film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, once again taps the Merlin legend and brings it to the 21st century.

Nicolas Cage is Balthasar Blake, one of three apprentices to the sorcerer, Merlin, in 780 Britain. Together with Veronica (Monica Bellucci) and Horvath (Alfred Molina), they fought against Morgana le Fay (Alice Krige), whose only ambition was world domination—until one of them, hungry for power, joined Morgana.

With Merlin’s death, Balthasar traps Morgana and Horvath in a nesting doll called the Grimold, until the Prime Merlinian, the only sorcerer who will be able to defeat Morgana, is found. Balthasar looks for centuries, for the one Merlin’s ring will identify as this savior.

David (Jay Baruchel), a 21t century kid like any other, happens into Balthasar’s shop. The ring recognizes him as the Prime Merlinian. David becomes apprentice to Balthasar.

Although it doesn’t quite catch the brilliance of the two National Treasure films (the last Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer and Nicolas Cage collaboration), it is still a great watch, a treat of eye-popping action, Cage’s dry humor, magic, and a classic hero vs. villain story. Those like myself who think of Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice, with dancing buckets and mops will not be disappointed.

The idea of apprenticeship is virtually unknown in North American society. The closest thing we have is on-the-job training. This fails to capture the relationship between master and apprentice of days gone by. The struggle to allow oneself to be led by another, to learn from another is the work of humility, not a virtue that is highly valued in our society. But in the midst of that struggle, if the master is a good one, is the ability to learn to trust oneself as well.

If we look at this from a Christian perspective, we can see the Master/disciple relationship between Jesus and we, his followers. Am I a good apprentice to Jesus?


  1. Dramatic poster! If the movie is as visually interesting, it must be a real treat!

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