I normally do not do movie reviews, but this movie needs a review.
I can sum up this film in 2 words ... "Over Hyped"
**The plot: Balthazar is looking for "the one" that can destroy a powerful evil, and finds it in a physics geek. Physics geek (Dave) accidentally lets out the evil Horvath, and our story starts.
I find the plot has a few holes in it. For starters if Horvath was locked away for 1000 years, and re imprisoned for another 10 years, how does he adjust to modern society, and learn his way around New York in a matter of a couple hours?!
This is repeated when Horvath releases an evil little girl from Salem that was imprisoned in the 1600's ( she adjusts instantly )
There are several points in the movie the good guys and bad guys could have killed each other off, but chose to leave the others alone. I found this confusing, and annoying.
Another point is the battles between Horvath and Balthazar ... it seems like most of them were "friendly" contests between rivals, and not "to the death" encounters.
**The special effects: Nothing to wright home about. Most of them were recycled from other movies. The morphing scenes ( from dust, flesh, bugs, mud, e.t.c. ) were done in other (sometimes much older ), and in all cases were preformed better in the original movies.
I'd like to also look at the magical carpet trap for a moment. If you compare it to Jumanji or Magic the Gathering (the movie), the version in SA seems a bit dated.
I did not study the movie very closely to draw parallels to other movies, but I bet most of the stuff is ripped off from other sources, and not much originality was put into it.
The magic effects were quite "stock" looking for a modern movie. I did a little experiment, and found most of it could be easily done on Adobe After Effects
**The acting: The acting of the other characters, besides Nicolas Cage, was acceptable, a bit bland, but OK. Cage on the other hand, was almost completely deadpan. This ruined his character. Most of the time, if a film is going to have a deadpan character they inject some humor into said character. Not this movie. They attempted to play off of the geeky nature of Dave ( the apprentice ) and failed.
"I'm in a really tough fight, meh" ... "Some one who is very important to me is in danger, meh" ... " The love of my life is back, meh" ... "Dave is getting really frustrating, meh"
Over all I give this movie a 3 out of 10. It's entertaining, but not worth the price of a movie ticket to see.
They attempted to link it to Fantasia, but I think the "Out of control cleaning tools" is executed a lot better in the cartoons, than in this movie.
I'd recommend waiting until it's on the $6 movie rack at Walmart.