Tigris Rose’s Review of The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)
Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley.

I was very skeptical about watching this movie in the first place. I love the “Prince of Persia” video games, when I heard that they were making a movie around I was ok could be fun. I heard Disney was going to do it, so I thought hey they have the budget for a great movie. Jake Gyllenhaal will play the prince, oh you got to be kidding me.

But I happened to be bored today, so I watched it. I am not sure about all of the casting choices. Jake Gyllenhaal, buffed up and got medieval sexy for the this movie. Which didn’t make it so bad. He isn’t what I would considered the best choice, but he wasn’t bad. Gemma Arterton who plays Princess Tamina did a good job portraying the character she was witty, and sarcastic just like in the game. The problems I see with Gemma Arterton, she’s only been acting on the big time for about 4 years, but her acting and her accent, even her looks reminds me of Rachel Weisz especially in this movie.

But Ben Kingsley is without a doubt the perfect actor to play the brother of the king, and the bad guy. Who doesn’t love Ben Kingsley as the bad guy. Probably a great gifted actor but with a very minor role was Alfred Molina who plays Sheik Amar, a rough cut, anti-capitalist entrepreneur who comes in a twist role trying to bring Dastan back to the royal family for trial of the king’s death. But eventually helps Dastan in the final battle.

Even though Newell directed the movie it is technically a Jerry Bruckheimer film as he was the producer. For those of you who have seen the movie, that little bit of trivia shouldn’t shock anyone. Because as you watch it you see pieces were Bruckheimer put his hands in the cookie jar. Of course Bruckheimer is well known for the countless TV series, plus a handful of movies like the National Treasure movies with Nick Cage, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, and of course who can forget the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

For any video game geek such as myself, the “Prince of Persia” franchise spans 20 years and counting releasing its first game in 1989 as a computer game. Seriously who didn’t play this game on a PC as a kid. Of course over the years the franchise expanded into other gaming systems including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The Sands of Time series which I think is the most popular since the original game from 89’ is what this movie is based off of… very loosely!

I will say flat out if you are a fan of the video games and watch this movie you will be ranting like I did. As I said it is very very loosely based, and if you are a fan, you’ll be storylined disappointed. However despite the lack of accuracy of the game storyline, it is a good movie. Its got great action scenes, some hilarity in the slow down, and some fairly decent acting.

I think they did the best they could to making it an interesting movie, being able to connect some dots throughout the movie, but the storyline and relationships between the characters were not close to the video game. For example the “Prince” technically didn’t have a name, now his name is Dastan in the movie, and he was adopted by the king despite have two sons of his own anyway. The king has a brother played by Ben Kingsley, and the two of them rule all of Persia strong as the sword because they rule together as a family. So instead of a Vizier (adviser) like in the video games there is a brother who betrays the family.

Basically the best way I know how to describe the story line without giving spoilers is this. The video game of the Sands of Time is like a R rated version of Disney’s Aladdin. Evil advisors trying to destroy and take over the world and gets stopped by a street rat. Similar story lines. The Movie the Sands of Time is like Shakespeare’s Hamlet without the confusing language barrier. Brother kills brother, tries to take the throne but there are three sons in his way, so he has to go back in time to his childhood to allow an event kill his brother so his nephews are never born.

Even though I love the video game and I‘ve played nearly every expansion of the franchise, I have to put to put my gamer bias to the side and make a rational decision of how good the movie really is.

I can in good conscious give this movie a solid B. Pros: Disney, Bruckheimer, and Newell made a great action movie with some kick ass stunts and special effects. Gave us a movie were Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t look or act like a pussy. And Ben Kingsley, that is self-explanatory.

Cons: Gave us the traditional Disney “happy ending.” Guy gets the girls, becomes a hero and lives happily ever after. *COUGH “BS” COUGH* Some of the side stories such as that with Molina’s Character was a little weak. Plus there was a few cheesy scenes between the brothers.

On a side note, so totally was not accurate to the games…I am a big stickler for accuracy that is why I love the Lord of the Rings movies better than Harry Potters. Plus I was waiting for some kind of sign, wanted or not, that there could be a sequel in the back of someone’s mind. Because that would have made up for everything they left out of the movie. Some kind of shadow or some kind of dream waking up thingy that points that the story isn’t over in an Easter egg after the credits or something! Just like in the video game, because those of us who know the series knows what’s coming next, because using the sands is a big no-no. So there should have been something, that everyone could see that there was something coming, it would have added to the suspense of the possibility that maybe, just maybe they didn’t screw up the series too badly. (story line wise of course.)

I will get off my soap box for now, like I said overall good action film worth seeing if you can put your gamer knowledge of how the story actually goes to the side. Stay tuned I will be back with my last review  for the Indiana Jones Movie Marathon.

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2 Responses to “Tigris Rose’s Review of The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)”

  1. chainsawcheerleader Says:

    Jake Gyllenhaal getting medieval sexy is the only reason why I would watch this movie. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie based on a video game that was good. Maybe I will catch it when it airs on Spike. Great review, Tig. Keep it up.

  2. I tried to watch it one night when nothing else was on and I couldn’t make it all the way through it. Slick, boring, studio bullshit. Glad you liked it, but I couldn’t find anything to hold my interest.

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