Beauties, blood and bitching fight scenes...what else does a movie need?
Well two out of three aren’t bad to have in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. And don’t worry, all that is missing is the blood (in excess), I mean it IS a Disney movie after all.
I know most of you are thinking, like I did, “if i haven’t played the Prince of Persia series, should I even bother going to see this movie?” Well the answer is yes. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time does a good job of introducing the uninitiated into the mythical world of Prince Dustan and Persia. Before I go on, I should admit that I am not a diehard Prince of Persia fan, so I saw this movie because I am geeky enough to get a kick out of seeing iconic video game characters put on the big screen. From my experience with the game, and my research, limited though it may be, this movie seemed to be paying homage to the game. The storyline for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is not the same as the game, so if you are a fan hoping to see the plague of the sands of time, you will be disappointed. However, the writers of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time drew upon the mythos of the games and crafted a perfect addition to the world of Prince of Persia.
Also, the creators of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, were able to play to both video game lovers, and moviegoers as a whole. This game made me feel like I was immersed in the storyline and the plot, throughout the entire movie. It had action, drama, suspense and more than a few twists and turns that even I didn’t see coming. And, for the gamers among the audience the immersive experience was taken a step further, with scenes that looked like they came right out of the cut scenes of today’s video games. I remember one scene where Prince Dastan had to jump from one ledge to another, and he did a back flip. The camera slowed just at the top, in the same way that most mini-cut scenes do in games. Also, during other parts of the movie, the action was shot with camera angles that made it look like a gamer was controlling Dastan. The camera was tilted like we gamers would position camera views, to not only see the jump we were making, but also the next jump and the jump after. In other words, they actually managed to pull this off, and not suck it up like the directors of Doom, the movie.
But don’t worry, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time doesn’t just have a good plot, and video game tie-ins. This movie is also filled with a cast that does a bang up job at representing their characters. Ok, let’s start right at the top with Gemma Arterton. She can play the ass kicking heroine! Gemma oozed so much sensual charm that I could see her as the princess, weak and helpless; then she turned around and beat Gyllenhaal over the head. She played the role of innocence, experience and aggressiveness in such a way that I was a little afraid of her. Next we have to talk about Sir Ben Kingsley. He has to be one of my favorite actors, and whenever he plays a villain I just love watching him. Yes, a small spoiler is that Kingsley plays one of the antagonists in this movie, but it is not until the end that you realize it. He is able to change his mannerisms so greatly that I was going “Is this the same character?” Because of Kingsley’s acting it was easy to determine exactly when the deception was revealed. Also, Alfred Molina made an appearance, as the plucky comic relief. You loved him, hated him and were usually unsure of what twist Molina, and his character, were going to throw into the mix. Finally, I need to talk about Prince Dastan. This is a huge role to fill because he is such an iconic character, and even though I have not religiously played the game I would have been royally annoyed if they got Dastan wrong. Luckily, Jake Gyllenhaal was able to enrapture the mighty prince. He was able to be the young rogue, who is very good in a fight or evading soldiers; while still having that charming personality that has the ladies swooning. In other words the perfect Dastan.
In this movie, Prince Dastan and his brothers are seen conquering an ancient and holy city. While conquering it, Dastan comes into possession of a magical dagger (that can turn back time for one minute.) After the victory, Dastan is framed for killing his father and he escapes to try and prove his innocence. He ends up taking the princess of the city, Tamina, with him. As they travel around Persia looking for a way to prove his innocence, it is a constant battle between Dastan and Tamina for the dagger. Tamina wants to protect it, and well Dastan just wants to be difficult, since he has seen the power of the dagger. Once Dastan learns of what the daggar unleashes, the Sands of Time, and his uncle’s plan to use these Sands, Dastan swears to help Tamina protect the daggar. Unfortunately, Nizam, the uncle, does not want this to happen and sends his secret society of assassins, called the hassansin, to kill Dastan and bring him the dagger. Well these hassansins chase Dastan, Tamina and a few new friends, until they finally capture the dagger. So now Dastan and his posse must stop Nizam from using the dagger, and either rewriting time, or destroying the world. In a final battle, Dastan overcomes his uncle and saves the world. Ok....that isn’t the final battle, but for the rest of the story you will just have to watch the movie, but yes he does save the world.
If you are looking for a movie to spend a lazy Friday night watching, then Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is for you. Between the plot, twists, fighting and Gemma Arterton make the movie a worthwhile addition to the annals of summer. However, unlike a number of movies this summer, I am happy to see it once, but I am not willing to spend the money to see it in theatres again.