The game movie that could have been: Prince of Persia – Film Review
TITLE: Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time
STARRING: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina
DIRECTOR: Mike Newell
RUN TIME: 115 minutes
RELEASE DATE: May 28th
By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja
When it comes to seeing movies in theaters, there are a few guidelines I usually follow. First, never order anything large at the concessions stand. Second, show up to the theater 5-6 minutes after the showtime, so I miss the advertisements and most of the trailers before the actual movie. And third, if you get a bad feeling about a movie, don’t see it. When I went to see the film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, I ignored the third guideline and I wish that I had followed it.
The movie follows the quest of Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he seeks to stop his evil uncle Nizam (Sir Ben Kingsley), who manipulated Dastan and his brothers to raid a city for a dagger that can control time. With him on this quest is Tamina, a princess who is the guardian of the dagger (Gemma Arterton) and a criminal lord who sounds like a member of the Tea Party (Alfred Molina).
And such is the plot of the movie, and it doesn’t bother to add anything else to it without it being done in a really cheesy way. The movie keeps trying to drive how important family and brotherhood is in our lives, but the message has no emotional investment and just comes off as cheesy. Based on the popular Prince of Persia video game series, right from the opening battle, set up like a game level, the whole film plays like a collection of video game cutscenes, and it is as boring as it sounds.
While the acting is not terrible, there really is nothing that stands out. Gyllenhaal fills the hero role well enough, and Kingsley does his job as a villain, but neither one of them does anything that livens up the movie. The only actor that is interesting is Molina as the amoral, tax-hating criminal who reluctantly helps our heroes in their quest.
The film does have some great visuals, good cinematography, and a section in the middle of the movie that is actually kind of fun. Overall, the film is not bad, it just does not have anything that stands out and comes off as cheesy fluff. Some reviewers have said this should be expected of a summer movie. But in the past few summer movie seasons with movies like Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and Star Trek that are fun but have some substance to it, am I wrong to expect a little bit more from movies I’m watching? I don’t believe so; of course, that’s just my opinion.
Front page photo from rottentomatoes.com.