By William Johnson
Jerry Bruckheimer fails to bring any magic to this time-traveling tale.
Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) stars in the Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean) produced and Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) directed adaptation of the popular Prince of Persia video game series. Named after the first installation, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is a high budget, fantasy-adventure featuring a time warping blade, capable of sending the wielder a full 60 seconds into the past at a time.
After King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup) witnesses an act of courage in a young street urchin on the streets of a nameless Persian city, he takes the boy in to be a prince of Persia. It’s years later and Prince Dastan is leading a charge into a holy city, named Alamut, in search of weapons and finds nothing but a princess. In a series of twisted events, Dastan ends up with a time warping dagger capable of unleashing the fabled Sand of Time, which have the power to destroy the world. It is now up to Dastan and the princess of Alamut, Tamina (Gemma Arterton) to protect the dagger from those who would use it for evil.
This film suffers from poorly put together Computer Generated Imagery and ineffective dialog. Digitally generated back drops are apparently unrealistic and moments between the princess and the prince seem unbelievable. This movie attempts to use clichéd moments where the two main actors almost kiss, but are instead interrupted by some event.
The biggest oversight I noticed within the movie was the under use of it’s chief gimmick, the dagger. When placed in danger throughout the duration of the movie, the prince seems to forget that he is wielding a time bending dagger. In a film that overused CGI, hardly any of it was invested in the item placed in it’s namesake.
The film does , however, attempt to make political allusions by inserting Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code) as Sheik Amar, an ostrich racing entrepreneur who opposes taxes. Molina’s performance was the highlight of an otherwise unenergized cast. Another allusion takes places when Dastan is opposed to the idea of invading a land based on inconclusive evidence of the government trading weapons of mass destruction with their enemies. Although evident, these allusions don’t make this movie any wiser when said.
This films delivers exciting battle scenes reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean and the Mummy trilogy and swift acrobatics similar to Spider-Man.
While the film has it’s flaws, it may be only the first is a new Jerry Bruckheimer series. Fans of the popular video game series may enjoy this adaptation
and others may pan it, but Prince of Persia brings forth exactly what it’s trailer promises: Action, Adventure, Romance, and Acrobatics.