Sure, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a fluffy little film without a thought in its little head, but it's a fun fluffy little film.
Things I liked about the film
2) Dave is a nerd. He stays a nerd through the entire movie. Other than a brief worry that he won't be able to impress Becky, he seems quite happy being a nerd and resists his roommates not-very pressing attempts to change him. His science skills comes in handy by the end as they combine quite nicely with magic--and hurray for physics and magic being compatible!.
4) Dave has at least one good friend willing to drop everything to help him, even when the request is really strange. There's no nonsense about "learning who your real friends are" or making new ones due to new-found confidence, or anything else. I suspect this is partly to leave more room for sorcerer's duels, but the end result is satisfactory. I'm a little burned out on nerdy/geeky people secretly longing to be cool and thus betraying their real friends for the (invariably shallow and thoughtless) cool people before coming to their senses. This time, the friendship is already there and to be counted on.
5) Becky likes Dave as he is, as a nerd.
6) Tesla coils! Musical Tesla coils! In a subway. It is entirely possible that I would love the movie for that alone.
7) Dancing mops. They aren't as impressive as the Tesla coils, but they are clearly enjoying being alive and are in no hurry to let Dave stop the games. Again, they might make the movie worth watching all on their lonesome.
8) The Sorcerer's Apprentice is the first movie I've seen in a long time (maybe ever?) where the heroes seem to be having as much fun as the villains. Sure, Balthazar mumbles something about responsibility, but he clearly enjoys changing the appearance of his car, bringing gargoyles to life, striding forward with dramatically billowing coat, and etc. When was the last time anyone other than the Evil Emperor got to have this much fun throwing lightning?
It takes Dave a little while to get the hang of things, but by the end, he's happily summoning metal eagles as well.
Things I didn't like: Bathazar's hair. Ok, he's busy training a new apprentice and saving the world and all, but Dave does keep insisting on going out on dates and things, so there's time for a quick shave and a stop by the mirror with a hairbrush and maybe some scissors.
So the Ayes have it.
Disney's Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) is a fun, fluffy, thoughtless film hat never pretends to be anything else. I may never watch it again, but it was worth watching once.