The premise of this movie is that Merlin had three apprentices: Nick Cage, Nick Cage's Love Interest, and Nick Cage's Enemy. One of them clearly ended up being a traitor. He sided with the much maligned Morgan Le Fey, also from Arhturian lore. Nick Cage's love interest stopped Morgan by sucking her into her own body. That gave her indigestion though and she wasn't sure how long she'd be able to keep her there so she asked Nick Cage to trap them both inside a Russian nesting doll until he could deal with it later. Nick Cage then spent a couple centuries tracking down other baddies and locking them in the nesting doll and waiting for an apprentice to appear.
|Nick Cage is stranger than fiction|
|Conveniently he draws it so everything lines up precisely...clearly this boy is magic|
|Unnecessary sword fight FTW!|
Eventually they both get sucked into a magical urn that apparently keeps people captive for ten years. Meanwhile Baby Trotsky is stupid enough to tell his teacher what he's just seen so they think he's crazy and he ends up needing to transfer schools. Ten years later he's in college and he has an amusing roommate who isn't in the movie enough and is telling him that he needs to get out more via an admittedly creepy metaphor involving wolves. Apparently if Trotsky doesn't participate in the pack more he will be killed. Because clearly if you're an introvert you don't deserve to live. On second thought, maybe it's for the best he isn't in the movie more.
|Are you in or out?|
Trotsky then goes to class (which he apparently ditches for the rest of the movie) where his papers are blown to the floor so that the filmmakers have an excuse to reintroduce his love interest now that she's an adult and it's not creepy to sexualize her. Seriously, both Trostky and the audience see her long legs covered in lacy tights before we see her face. Because that's clearly the more important part of her.
|Spoiler alert: this movie does not pass the Bechdel test|
They get all caught up and it's revealed that naturally, Legs is bad at physics and could use a tutor but she totally loves music. Trotsky walks her back to the radio station where the antenna isn't working. He fixes it because as a boy he is good at engineering apparently. She thanks him for saving the music and they share a moment.
|I always depend on the kindness of geeks to fix my electrical whatsists|
While this heart-warming moment is going on Nick Cage and his enemy are released from the antique urn. They waste no time in trying to locate the Russian Nesting Dolls. Nick Cage has apparently lost ten years of his life, but gained a fedora.
|Totally worth it!|
Nick Cage's enemy finds Trotsky and attacks him with wolves from the calendar his roommate was using earlier to illustrate his metaphor. Trostky looks doomed but Nick Cage arrives just in time to turn them into puppies.
|Not the puppies! Anything but puppies!|
Nick Cage then appears in the fashion that he should in every movie from now on: riding a giant metal eagle. You think I'm making this up? I'll prove it:
|Home of the BAMFs|
Nick Cage complains to Trotsky that he's been trapped for the past ten years and Trostky replies that he has too--in a "figurative urn of ridicule." Despite that and the fact that he thought it was all a hallucination ten years earlier he agrees to help find the Russian Nesting Doll. Nick Cage then makes the ill-advised choice of trying to explain magic with faulty science. Magic is magic and needs no explanation--most audiences are willing to suspend disbelief. Bringing crap science in is a disservice to science and an insult to the audience's intelligence. Specifically he uses the popular misconception that humans only use 10% of their brains and by using the other 90% sorcerers can move matter with their minds by shaking molecules. Trotsky accepts this explanation proving that he clearly needs a science tutor as well. Then they go to Chinatown where Nick Cage beats up an old woman.
|Take that grandma!|
The old woman turns out to be his enemy in disguise who has already found the Russian Nesting Doll and released a Chinese evil sorcerer. Because he's Chinese he clearly can't use the regular magical methods of attacks we've seen so far. Instead he attacks Nick Cage first with acupuncture needles and then by turning the new year dragon in the parade outside into an actual dragon. Seriously? I don't know what is sadder: that filmmakers still think they can get away with crap like this, or that for the most part they actually can.
|I kill you with the power of stereotype!|
He is defeated fairly quickly by a complete amateur and we never hear from him again. He doesn't even get any lines. The police finally show up and instead of running away with the rest of the crowd, which would have been easy enough, they pull out their emergency cop disguises. Never leave home without one! Nick Cage purposefully makes himself sound ignorant so he'll blend in as a cop. Clever plan--don't want to let a good stereotype go to waste!
|The fake mustache is the most important part of the cop disguise|
Nick Cage and Trotsky go back to his underground lab in a subway station (apparently provided by the university?) to practice their magical skills. Meanwhile, after seeing the dynamic duo in action, Nick Cage's enemy decides that he needs to get an apprentice as well. He naturally turns to Proto Zoa from Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.
|You make my heart go zoom zoom!|
Okay, it's not really him, not even the same actor, but that's what I thought of when I first saw him. He's probably my favorite character in the movie because I'm clearly more comfortable with stereotyping rock stars than the other prejudices we've seen in this movie. It's pretty hilarious I have to admit. He has posters of himself all around and is getting his nails painted black when we first meet him. He's apparently turned to stage magic since his previous master left, hence the rock-star fame and persona. He also has an accent for no reason. Like all the best villains.
|Paint my nails black like my soul|
Cut back to Nick Cage and Trotsky bonding over sandwiches. Nick Cages gives the classic 'women are a distraction' speech which Trotsky naturally ignores the moment Legs steps out of the radio building. He catches up with her and she jokes about how he's stalking her but seems okay with it. She's read Twilight so she knows that men stalk because they care. He follows her to the subway station where she is conveniently mugged, giving him a chance to save her like the damsel she clearly is. Trotsky follows the mugger and beats him with a trash can.
|Taking out the trash|
|My love for you is electric!|
Afterward he walks her to yoga class so she can limber up for him and he sings a song about her while peeing in the restroom next door. I'm not sure if that's creepy or adorable. Cradorable? Anyway Proto Zoa interrupts these shenanigans before long to intimidate Trotsky with cutting remarks and sharp fashion. When Trotsky doesn't recognize him he guesses that he's a member of Depeche Mode. Close, but no cigar.
|Check out the boots!|
Soon their respective masters show up to join in on the battle and Nick Cage's enemy reveals to Trotsky that he is the prime Merlinian before Nick Cage defeats him with the Hungarian Mirror Trick. Being the prime Merlinian apparently is similar to the Prime Directive in that is says that Trotsky cannot interfere in the development of himself as the new Merlin. Who needs free will when you have magic?
|Seriously where do they get these ideas from?|
Nick Cage and Trostky go back to train some more but Nick Cage's enemy and Proto Zoa are hot on their trail. They pose as teachers to gain access to the student database and Trotsky's files to find his secret university-sponsored underground lab. Another bright spot in the movie comes as the database flunky says that he needs to see Nick Cage's enemy's faculty ID card and he magics him and says that he doesn't. Proto Zoa says aloud what I was already thinking: "These are not the droids you're looking for!" It's moments like that that make this movie the more tolerable one in my double feature line up.
|That's why he's my favorite|
Meanwhile the filmmakers are desperately trying to find a way to work in a version of the iconic Sorcerer's Apprentice scene. They do so by saying that Trotsky needs to clean up because Legs is visiting so he takes out his ridiculously large supply of mops and other cleaning implements to wash the floors and do the dishes as he showers. Because what abandoned subway terminal turned into Tesla Coil lab doesn't have a dozen mops and a sink full of dirty dishes?
|This doesn't feel forced at all|
Nick Cage appears to save the day again, but not before Trotsky has to turn Legs away. So he throws a fit and yells at Nick Cage and storms out. He walks around in not just one but two hoodies so that he can pull them over his head and walk around being doubly emo. To comfort himself he stalks Legs again. He finds her having fun with her friends and stares at her through the window before going away to pout on a roof top.
|Cheer up emo boy!|
Legs saw him watching her through the window though and decides to stalk him right back, following him to the roof. As a girl she's afraid of heights but with his manly hand around hers she finds the courage to go to the roof edge and enjoy the view.
|Trust me, I'm a stalker!|
Meanwhile Proto Zoa and Nick Cage's Enemy have broken into the underground lab to look for the Russian Nesting Doll. Proto Zoa glances around for a few seconds then declares he can't find it like a petulant child and leaves it to his daddy/master to find. Not a shining moment for him. Thankfully, now that Trotsky knows he hasn't blown his chances with legs he decides to forgive Nick Cage and returns to his lab just in time to save the day. They end up in a car chase where they can change their cars by magic into anything they want. yet neither changes their car into the bat mobile. Biggest plot hole of the whole movie. Instead the bad guys turn their car into a trash truck.
|You have chosen poorly!|
Nick Cage and Trotsky escape somehow though and have a heart to heart. Nick Cage explains that Morgan and his love interest are caught in the Russian Nesting Doll. I've heard of emotional baggage before but Nick Cage has literally been carrying around his old flame for centuries. No wonder he's so messed up. He says that there's something different about Trotsky and that it's because Trotsky and Legs are in love. Awww. Nick Cage's Enemy and Proto Zoa are hanging out too, but instead of having a heart to heart Nick Cage's Enemy kills Proto Zoa. Because he's evil. At least we get to see him in one last wonderful awful outfit surrounded by creepy paintings of himself.
|Yes, that's a Magic the Gathering poster with Proto Zoa drawn in|
Nick Cage's Enemy then releases the penultimate evil magician from the Russian Nesting Doll and it turns out to be Abigail from Salem witch hunt fame. Seriously! She's dispatched to kidnap Legs so that they can use her to get Trotsky to give up the Russian Nesting Doll and his magic dragon ring. Naturally, Trotsky obliges.
|She's a witch!|
Now that Trotsky has given up his ring he is powerless so Nick Cage must stop the evil doomsday plan by himself. Apparently if Morgan is released from the Russian Nesting Doll she will raise an army of zombies. Why do Nick Cage's enemies always go straight for the zombie plan? Anyway naturally Trotsky decides to fight anyway and Legs agrees to help by climbing a tower to kick a satellite to disrupt the magical zombie beckoning relay circle. I think this is supposed to show that she's not just a damsel in distress but really it's too little too late if you ask me.
|Take that inanimate object incapable of fighting back! My work here is done.|
Meanwhile Nick Cage's enemy releases Morgan le Fey because even a sorceress as powerful as her is helpless unless she is first rescued by a man. She then proceeds to commence her zombie ritual which unlike any of the magic the men have done in the movie apparently necessitates her sitting in a fountain getting her dress wet while she writhes about on her knees. Clearly she's been going to yoga too.
|Oh yeah, this is how powerful women look|
Legs kicking the satellite knocks out Morgan who, don't forget, is in the body of Nick Cage's Love Interest. Nick Cage runs up to the poor damsel in distress who has fainted and saves her with a kiss. Because that's apparently the best way to get spirits possessing someone out. If only they knew that in Season of the Witch! Nick Cage nobly sacrifices himself for his lady by taking Morgan in his body instead.
The gesture is pretty pointless in the end though as Morgan quickly decides that she doesn't need a body and can fight as an incorporeal being instead. Trotsky fights her even though he lost his magic dragon ring, proving that he really is the Prime Merlinian. Yay? They then engage in turn-based combat. They actually say "Now it's my turn." Personally, I've never had any patience for turn-based combat games so it's a good thing I wasn't the one fighting.
|Good thing I spent all that time practicing this with Paper Mario!|
It looks like our intrepid hero will lose until Morgan stops for the obligatory quip break. Trotsky declares "I brought a little science with me" and unleashes his Tesla coils on her. It's the age-old battle of pseudo-science versus sloppy magic.
|The shocking climax|
Once again, now that the battle is over Nick Cage is able to die. But since this is a Disney movie he gets brought back to life with the magical equivalent of a defibrillator.
So the good end happily and the bad end unhappily and the movie ends with a crappy pop ballad. The two couples kiss to show that they'll be happy from now on and Trotsky and Legs ride off into the night on the back of the giant metal eagle. The end!
|Legs fulfills her purpose in the movie at last!|