The Sorcerer's Apprentice certainly isn't any better than you'd expect, but it's also not any worse. It's clearly meant for a much younger audience than Jon Turtletaub's super fun National Treasure, so if you check it out, keep that in mind.
It's the quintessential Disney story. A young nerdy college freshman, Dave (Jay Baruchel) ends up becoming the chosen one, the one Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) has been searching for for thousands of years. He becomes his apprentice, and together they save the world. Dave is the guy every 8-15 year old boy will want to be, and Disney certainly knows how to sell tickets.
The movie is not utter horse shit, but it also contains absolutely nothing original at all. It's a fun romp with pretty good music, special effects, and some good performances. Nicolas Cage is, if nothing else, a convincing actor. He's got a knack for effectively making you believe he is the character he's playing, and if that's not what acting is about, I don't know what is. I didn't look at Balthazar and see Ben Gates, I saw a two thousand year old Sorcerer. The movie hopes that Balthazar will be a character to be remembered, but that ultimately fails due to the level of earnestness and likability Jay Baruchel brings to Dave.
Baruchel has finally made his mark as a mainstream star, something I've been waiting for since he was a little kid on Undeclared. It's personally exciting to see. He nails almost every joke he says, and he finds a way into your heart by the end of the movie. And isn't that what movie heroes are supposed to do?
Besides Baruchel's lovability there's really nothing great about The Sorcerer's Apprentice. However, it's a kids movie and I suppose I shouldn't judge it too harshly. There are some logistical questions I had about the laws of magic, and who could do what, but I ultimately didn't care. It's not the greatest movie of all time, but it certainly does what it intends to do, and that's nothing I'm ready to criticize for the worse.