After the ill-conceived Prince of Persia failed to meet lofty box office expectations, Hollywood was anxiously awaiting the release of Jerry Bruckheimer's latest title, the Nicholas Cage action film The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The movie, which critics have said appears to be inspired by both Harry Potter and Cage's own National Treasure series, was supposed to deliver a much-needed live action hit to Disney and provide a shot-in-the-arm to Bruckheimer's production company. But after a critical thrashing and a tepid first day take of $3.7 million ("that's bad," a rival studio executive tells Nikki Finke), observers are beginning to question the mega-producer's previously heralded "midas touch."
- His Gift For Turning Leaden Scripts Into Gold Seems to Have Deserted Him notes Gary Thompson in the Philadelphia Daily News. While the writer,"long ago ceased to question Bruckheimer's uncanny sense of audience taste" it appears that he may have hit a bit of a rough patch this summer. Bruckheimer's real problem, Thompson believes, is that 'Apprentice' is just a stale title:"[It's] like "Persia," another transparent attempt by Bruckheimer to recapture the mojo of the original "Pirates," taking on old Disney brand (the title comes from an interlude in "Fantasia") and building a gigantic action-comedy around it."
- Inception Will Lord Over 'Apprentice' predicts Moviefone's Gary Susman, who finds the Disney-Bruckheimer collaboration a "tepid" and formulaic creation with very little buzz. And even though the movie opened a couple days early to grab "quick cash", the writer believes it will be overshadowed by CG creations Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me.
- Could it be Three Misses in a Row for Jerry Bruckheimer? The Wrap's Daniel Frankel, takes a closer look at the producer's recent track record and points out that recent underperformers like 'Persia', the hamster-spy flick 'G-Force' and a middling opening for 'Apprentice' signify an unsettling trend. "Certainly, for a producer known for presiding over mega-successful film franchises like “The Pirates of the Caribbean” – which has grossed more than $2.6 billion over three films – such a dry spell would draw notice."'
- Apprentice' Has More Rewriters Than 'Despicable Me' Has Minions quips Time's Richard Corliss, who called the movie "so-so summer fun." But the review forgoes excoriating the producer in favor of questioning the talent of the cast involved. "If [Jay Baruchel, the male lead] has movie charm or a gift inhabiting characters or delivering lines, I'm missing it. In Apprentice, his Dave is so outshone by Cherry's 10-year-old version that I kept wishing for flashbacks"
- "We Weren't Getting Much Traction With What Was Out There," admitted Bruckheimer to The Los Angeles Time's John Horn about the marketing push for Sorcerer's Apprentice. Horn observes that Disney changed much of its strategy for the movie just days before release, "including switching the film's tag line in some advertisements from "It's the coolest job ever" to "There's no such thing as no such thing."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.