Prince of Persia The Sands of Time Movie Review
Prince of Persia The Sands of Time is a throwback to the action packed movie serials of the old days. Absolutely gorgeous CGI cinematography and special effects makes this a “must see” movie on anybody’s list.
Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the adopted third son of King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup) of Persia. As the movie starts the King gets word that a neighboring Holy City has accumulated powerful weapons of mass destruction that the people plan to use against Persia. As a preemptive move (sound familiar?) the King sends a small attack force, led by Dastan, into the city to capture the city and the weapons.
After the successful capture of the city, the beautiful princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) and the hanging of the Mission Accomplished banner, King Sharaman arrives to lecture and scold the people. As a reward for his heroic behavior, the King also decides to give the captured princess Tamina to Dastan as a wife. But before the King can make it official he is murdered, and his son Dastan is framed for the killing.
Dastan escapes the city with Tamina and a magical dagger that has time-travelling powers. The rest of the movie deals with the 2 outlaws trying to evade capture long enough to clear Dastan’s name and find the real killer of his father. Not only are they in pursuit by the King’s army, but others who wish to control the power of the dagger are also trying to capture Dastan and Tamina.
Prince of Persia The Sands of Time is based upon a popular computer game created back in 1989. In that game you controlled a character (prince) through a series of increasingly difficult levels until you got to the end. This movie tries to give the same type of feel as playing a video game. Dastan and Tamina travel through a series of frenetic chase scenes where they must elude their followers. At the end of each “level” they find themselves at the beginning of a new challenge more difficult than before.
This movie is visually stunning, just as you would expect from a Walt Disney movie produced by the now legendary Jerry Bruckheimer. He was the one that adapted that old theme park boat ride to the movies in that blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean.
Now Prince of Persia The Sands of Time is not as good as Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s not that the story is lacking or that the movie doesn’t look spectacular. The missing ingredient is Johnny Depp. With Depp, Bruckheimer caught lightning in a battle. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies would not have been nearly as good without him and his many memorable quotes.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a very good actor (Brokeback Mountain), but he just doesn’t have the charisma of Johnny Depp. But if you don’t try to compare the 2 movies then you will have a great time watching Prince of Persia The Sands of Time.
Two performances worth singling out are those of Ben Kingsley as Nizam, Dastan's uncle and Alfred Molina as Amar, the humorous leader of a band of outlaws. Kingsley is always great in whatever he’s in, and he gives the movie a sense of authenticity in every scene in which he appears. Alfred Molina is just damn funny. As the outlaw leader who makes a living racing Ostriches, he easily gets the movie’s best lines.
Whatever you do, do not leave your seat during the last 30 minutes of this movie. The epic battle that ends this film is a gorgeous-looking action-adventure spectacle that you will not forget anytime soon. Supposedly, Jake Gyllenhaal trained with an expert for months in parkour to get through the finale.
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