PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.
Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy
May 28, 2010
Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint
Walt Disney Studios
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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Producer Jerry Bruckheimer teams up with Disney once again to bring us Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Like their previous collaborative effort – the now famous Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Prince of Persia is an epic adventure of grand proportions.
An adaptation of Jordan Mechner’s video game of the same name, Prince of Persia is rightly filled with an abundance of exciting battle and hand-to-hand combat action set in 6th century. However, a bit of funny dialogue and the fight sequences are overshadowed by uninteresting drama. Plus, its intensely violent and suggestive content is too much for kids.
The Movie in a Minute
Orphaned at a young age, Dastan lives off the streets. Catching the attention of King Sharaman, the boy gains a royal inheritance as an adopted son of the monarch. Years later, his courage is tested when his loyalty is questioned. With a mystical dagger in his hands, Dastan must decide whether he will use it to make all right again or restore it to the care of a Princess Tamina before it destroys mankind.
What Works – and What Doesn't – in Prince of Persia
Controversy surrounds this cast with regard to the lack of actors of Persian and Middle Eastern decent on the screen. Though the film is set in 6th century Persia, most of the characters are played by white actors.
Packing on some muscle weight and flexing his vocal range with a fairly convincing British accent, Jake Gyllenhaal (Brothers, Zodiac) picks up the action hero role as Prince Dastan. Co-star Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), who plays Princess Tamina, matches him, creating a believable chemistry between the two royals. Rumored to be the most beautiful sight one could see, the British actress meets the expectation set up in the script for Tamina, adding a fiery spirit to the role. The acting kudos must go to two of the screen veterans though. Sir Ben Kingsley (Schindler's List, Gandhi) as Dastan's uncle, Nazim, and Alfred Molina (Luther, Spider-Man 2) as Sheik Amar are -- as usual -- wonderful. Molina's especially hilarious take on his merchant character is a definite positive for this movie.
The film's problem areas are in its dialogue and plotline. Some of moments that are designed to ellicit laughter fall flat, and parts of the film seem to creep along. References to pagan gods, suggestive material (including reveal clothing on Tamina), and a drunk Dastan add to the strikes against Prince of Persia being a popcorn movie that the whole family can enjoy together. While the parkour (stunt jumping) and freerunning scenes are impressive, they aren't enough to keep this film from dropping down to the "Rent on DVD' rating.
In the End
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a valid attempt to bring a video game story to the big screen. But, ultimately, this game's epic story isn't captured well enough to transport moviegoers to an exciting place in 6th century Persia, as much as Bruckheimer and Disney did with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl .
Hannah Goodwyn is the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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