Nic Cage is Balthazar, an immortal wizard who must enlist an unsuspecting, Chosen One-type apprentice to halt the catastrophic plans of evil rival Maxim (Alfred Molina).
Predictably, said protégé turns out to be a dorky teen (Jay Baruchel), who provides plenty of angst but little comic sparkle in a Jerry Bruckheimer confection ill-served by half-baked scripting.
But the magical set-up itself is so hastily conceived that apparently anything goes, powers-wise, robbing the simplistic good-versus-evil yarn of any consequence.
At least Cage and Molina enjoy themselves flinging fireballs at each other.
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