Prince of Persia: The Sands of time is loosely based around the video game series of the same name, using characters and locales from the games and bringing them to the big screen. Jake Gyllenhaal (Jarhead
) plays Dastan, a vagabond prince who was plucked from the streets by the King for his spirit and athleticism and adopted into the royal family. 15 years later Dastan fights in the Persian army alongside his adopted brothers Garsiv (Toby Kebbell - Rocknrolla
) and Tus (Richard Coyle - Jeff from Coupling
). After receiving word that the ancient city of Alamut is supplying weapons to Persia's enemies, they besiege & conquer the city, where they find the lovely Princess Tamina (Gemma Aterton - Quantum of Solace
) who guards a weapon that grants the bearer time-shifting abilities. All is not as it seems as Dastan soon realises that someone within his trust has ulterior motives for invading Alamut and wants the dagger for themselves...
The film is beautifully shot and features some breathtaking locales, credit to Mike Newell here. There are multiple nods to the acrobatics of the game, even panning around Gyllenhaal before jumps in the third person aspect made so familiar by the games. Ben Kingsley plays Dastan's uncle and is a real asset to the production with his ambiguous mannerisms, whilst Alfred Molina (Dr Octopus - Spider-Man 2
) plays a brilliant, tax-dodging & eccentric bazaar-owner who injects some much-needed humour into the proceedings and carries every scene he is in.
The plot is rather linear and predictable but the acting is solid and keeps you enthralled, if you were expecting lots of time-jumping and rewinding like the games then you will be sorely disappointed as Dastan uses the vast majority of the sands of time figuring out how to use the sands of time, which is a bit of a waste of cinematic potential if you ask me but that's the direction they went with. I couldn't figure out why both of the leads have Kensington-English accents, despite Gyllenhall being American and both of them playing middle-eastern royalty; nonetheless Gyllenhaal's English accent is convincing enough.
In conclusion, this is a must-see for fans of the game, but the whole film feels a bit ham-fisted as it jumps seemingly randomly between threads of the story and the dialogue just feels a bit contrived. The ending is contradictory to earlier information given in the film and doesn't make an awful lot of sense. Nonetheless, I would recommend this for a decent watch but don't question the plot too much as you are likely to get annoyed at the paradoxes!!
This version has both the Blu-Ray version of the film and the DVD version.