The fantasy adventure tale follows sorcerer Balthazar Blake's (Cage) fight against the forces of evil in modern-day New York City. Balthazar is an apprentice of the almighty sorcerer Merlin (James A. Stephens), as is Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). But Merlin is betrayed by Maxim, and moments before his death the almighty sorcerer chooses to tell Blake about a dragon ring that will lead to his successor, the Prime Merlinean.
Enter physics nerd Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), who is thrown into the unlikely role of successor, and given the gift of wizardry. But Dave wants none of it. He only wishes to live a normal life. But the evil Horvath has plans to destroy the world, and Balthazar will need Dave's help if he is to stop him.
As a villain, Horvath never comes across as a real threat - added to this is Blake's complacency, so the audience never feels there is any real danger. As for the evil Morgana le Fay (Alice Krige), she is utterly unconvincing as a villain.
The film is a classic case of special effects overload. In one of the more annoying scenes, Disney decided to pay homage to themselves by having mops and brooms dance around doing chores as seen in Fantasia. Kudos for the gesture, but it simply does not translate.
About halfway through, you wish you could make it all end with a magic wand. No amount of Bruckheimer-Cage sorcery could rescue this mess.