Film Review – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia poster

I’m pretty sure that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will be the most sucessful video game film adaptation to date. Not that this is saying much when we look back at such horrors as Super Mario Brother, StreetFighter and Doom.

The story, written by Jordan Mechner, who wrote the original game, focuses on Prince Dastan, fleeing from a crime he didn’t commit, and forced to join forces with Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) in order to protect a dagger that can turn back time. While there are some obvious comparisons with the story of Aladdin (Dustan is adopted, with humble “street rat” beginnings, Ben Kingsley plays the wicked advisor Nizam…) the plot rattles along at a fairly good pace with enough set pieces to keep the momentum going. Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Donnie Brasco, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) is, as expected, a very steady hand on the tiller, the action sequences in particular are excellent.

The script, to be honest, is not great, suffering from repetition and clumsy exposition. However, the cast attack it for the most part with gusto and conviction, with the possible exception of Kingsley who seems to be phoning in his bad guy schtick.

Mike Newell has heaped praise on Gyllenhaal for reinventing himself as an action hero, and it’s clear he’s worked hard, not only on his musculature, which is positively terrifying, but also on an English accent that never once falters. Arterton is feisty and fun as Princess Tamina, although her received pronunciation grates a little. Comedy sidekick Alfred Molina delivers his lines with aplomb, despite suffering the worst of the repetition.

While it would be easy to dismiss this movie as Pirates of the Carribean with more sand, it is much better directed and acted than the former. Flawed as it may be, it is an entertaining romp that deserves to do well in the summer blockbuster market.

This was originally posted on 14th May, 2010 over at Blogomatic 3000


~ by moviegrrlreviews on May 25, 2010.

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