on 2 October 2013
This movie has nearly all the makings of an Epic motion picture. It has an exotic setting, a new crisp plot, plenty of action, and a beautiful woman. Our hero starts out as a street orphan who champions goodness against the Persian army as he jumps around rooftops like the Phantom. However, once he becomes adopted by the king, he loses a lot of personality. He is not as colorful as other leading men in Epic films, mostly due to the writers who gave him lousy lines.
What was really missing in this movie outside of exceptional dialogue was humor. I don't mean turn the movie into a comedy, but when you want to be compared to Pirates..., Indian Jones, or other epics such as Star Wars or even the grand daddy of them all LOTR, they all had some comical element in them with leading men that were able to deliver those lines. This movie lacked that human element and it showed as it failed to hook me.
In spite of the inability of either the script writers or director to create great characters, the plot, action and scenery were enough to carry the film to where it would be enjoyable. There was one "joke" as the princess kept an amulet with the sands of time in it on a necklace located at her cleavage...the last place anyone would look, except maybe Prince Dustin who noticed it right off.
Yes, there is a time travel element to it, but it is not really a time travel movie, i.e. it is not bogged down with nerdy time travel paradoxes. Time travel was a gift from the unnamed god(s).
The movie has a happy ending with a message of hope as well as violence, killing, and snakes. I consider it better entertainment than Robin Hood, or Iron Man II.
4 1/2 stars.
This fantasy adventure film was made for pure entertainment and it fills this role pretty nicely. Not a masterpiece but a nice watch. Below, some more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.
As the title indicates this film was inspired by the old computer game "Prince of Persia", of which it keeps the premise (Thousand and One Nights-like lands), the main hero Dastan, who actually is kind of a prince of Persia (even if he was adopted, not born in royalty) and the swashbuckling and acrobatic character of story. Jake Gyllenhaal is maybe not exactly the kind of actor I would immediately associate with adventure/action films but in this one he proves that with enough makeup, CGIs and the help of a battalion of stuntsmen anybody can be a hero... Which is kind of a heartening message... Also, as dialogs in this film are not half bad, the actor playing the heroic prince can actually do here some occasional acting, between two acrobacies covered by his stuntsmen.
All those who enjoyed the three old "Sinbad" films will most probably like this film too. As always in this kind of movies there must also be an evil guy and here this role is played by no other than Sir Ben Kingsley - who is really a pleasure to watch.
Also, there must be a chick in slave's outfit and lo and behold, there is one and a very pleasant sight she is, as she is played by Gemma Arterton. Her character, Tamina, has the necessary shapes and also quite a mouth, which she doesn't hesitate to put to good use once she meets the prince - for dialogs, of course... Because, you know, dialogs are good... And ever since Leia all princesses need to have a mouth which they put to good use once they meet an attractive guy - for dialogs, of course... Because, you know, dialogs are good... OK, I stop here.
The film is visually quite pleasant and this is why I bought it on Blu-ray (it was actually the first Blu-ray I ever bought) and it was a good decision.
Bottom line, this is a film made for pure entertainment and quite good for this kind of thing, with some good action, good effects, some nice verbal sniping between the two main characters and a guaranteed happy ending, complete with the obligatory betrothal and the promise of glorious bedding - I mean wedding... Enjoy!
on 19 June 2013
Love love love this film, twists & turns everywhere, great for all the family. This is the second copy that has been bought, someone borrowed the other & never gave it back, they must have enjoyed watching it as well.
on 21 April 2016
The 1080p 2.40:1 AVC picture is a stunning cinematic experience, with a warm colour palette that perfectly captured the age-old desert settings. Contrast is excellent. Hues are rich and warm. Blacks are deep and solid. Resolution is also sharp, revealing fine facial and texture details. (4.5/5)
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is dynamic with good work-out for all the surround speakers plus the subwoofers. The music by Harry Gregson-Williams enhances the mood with full orchestral treatment befitting of the storytelling. (4.5/5)
For the viewers with anamorphic lens, I am glad to inform you that the subtitles are within the stretched picture frames. Thank you Disney for listening to our complaints.
The movie was supposed to derive from a video game. There was a mild surprise twist to the ending, which I will not give away here. It was an enjoyable 116 minutes. Highly recommended.
Somewhere on my computer, I still have the original Prince of Persia game. While I haven't gotten into the many other games in the franchise, I did get a kick out of it. So naturally, I paid attention when they announced Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. I never did make it to see this one in theaters, but I recently rented and enjoyed it.
Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) was a poor orphan in ancient Persia until he was adopted by King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup). Raised with the other princes, he comes to love his new family dearly.
When the holy city of Alamut begins selling weapons to the enemy, Dastan and his brothers feel they have no choice but to invade the city. Even after taking Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) hostage, they can find no evidence of those weapons.
Tamina is obsessed with a dagger that Dastan has taken as a spoil of war. When Dastan is suddenly accused of murder, the two must flee for their lives. What secret does that dagger hold? Will Dastan clear his name?
Make no mistake about it, this movie has summer block buster written all over it. There are big action scenes and plenty of special effects. At times those did overshadow things, especially in the beginning when I found myself a couple of steps behind the characters. By the end, I was following everything just fine.
Unfortunately, the story is predictable. A few things kept me in suspense throughout the movie, but I predicted most of the twists before they happened. But this isn't a movie that's trying to break new ground. It just wants to have fun, and in that it succeeds in spades.
I thought the special effects were quite good. I believed everything I saw, and they never pulled me out of the film. Likewise, the acting was great. The actors played it mostly straight, which made me really care for the main characters. And the sword battles were lots of fun.
Even the first incarnation of the game involved jumping on pegs and ledges over the ground. I had to smile at how they worked this into the movie. Fans of the games won't be disappointed.
My biggest irritant was the poorly timed kiss. What do I mean? As the movie progresses, Dastan and Tamina start to fall for each other (no surprise there). But they chose the worst possible times to start to move in for a kiss, leading to further plot complications. Not only was I yelling at the screen, but I was also rolling my eyes that they would really risk everything they were working toward to kiss right then.
Complaint aside, I still enjoyed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This isn't great cinema, but it is perfect for a couple of mindless hours.
on 22 January 2011
When studios actively set out to create a hit, instead of just a good movie, it can often result in a mixed bag. This is a film that emerged pretty well from the vast ambitions behind it, but still falls a little bit short in the 'heart and soul' territory.
It clearly wants to be 'Pirates of the Caribbean' in the desert, just with a videogame source and Persian mythology. Indeed, Alfred Molina's brilliant comedy sheik might as well have been called 'Captain Jack Sparrow' for all the similarities in eyeliner, speech style and comedy swagger. However, the other elements are fun enough to help it stand on its own.
When spies suggest a holy city has been making weapons for his enemies the Persian King's sons attack. However, treachery ensues, and Prince Dastan suddenly finds himself on the run as a wanted man, with only the assistance of the city's Princess.
Gyllenhal handles his Prince duties excllently, playing him as a charming guy uninterested in the throne, and naturally talented at spectacular feats of parkour and athleticism. This helps in the many wall-running, tower-flinging and roof jumping chase scenes throughout the film, while Gemma Arterton plays Princess Tamina as a glamorous priestess with a biting edge in swordplay. Together the chemistry is fun. However, the dialogue and behaviour often feels a little childish and under-written, and is nowhere near as smooth as the banter of other desert-adventure classics like 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.
It often feels like the result of a smoothly oiled production machine (eg: "we need a chase scene here!") where too many script writers have refined and refined too many rough edges out of it. As a result, it's very entertaining and visually excellent throughout, but without any true surprises or real, raw excitement. Like catching a rollercoaster, it may throw you a few curves, but you know you'll be safe and you know exactly where it's going. Unfortunately this is also the case with the 'whodunnit' storyline which is made rather too obvious.
The film has a great trick up it's sleeve in the use of the 'Hassansins' - a nasty breed who it's implied might be the origin of assassins, who crop up with their acrobatics and nasty weaponry at enough key moments to add spice and drama.
It's a beautiful, enjoyable and dramatic ride, and it looks very good (although surprisingly, not amazing, with hints of minor grain in a few scenes) on Blu-Ray. It's just a little too efficiently 'machined'.
The Prince of Persia is a computer game that is making the uncertain transfer to film. Something that hasn't always been a great success in the past with game to film crossovers, with the likes of the cringe worthy Street Fighter with Jean Claude Van Damme or Super Mario brothers with Bob Hoskins. Can they fair any better with this offering ?
The answer to that is a definite yes! the main reason being that the film relies heavily on the past success formula of The Mummy , which The Prince Of Persia borrows it's old fashioned fun style & characters, that's in a way it's like they have simply taken the character from the game & put him into the cast of the characters of The Mummy with a different premise & story. Which it turns out, is not necessarily a bad thing. The characters & relationships are all familiar, hinged around Jake Gyllenhaal's (Source Code) lead character as the dashing & sometimes clumsy Dastan, who is wrongly accused of murder. And goes on the run with the feisty Gemma Arterton (Tamara Drewe ) as Tamina, a Priestess guardian of a magical dagger, which everyone wants to get hold of due to it's power of being able to reverse time. Whose volatile love/hate rapport is instantly memorable to the Mummies likable pairing of Rick & Evy. And with this solid structure at it's core, it hits the ground running when the film injects it's exciting action sequences, CGI eye candy, evil villain & comedy relief guy.
In conclusion, The Prince of Persia's isn't going to win awards for originality, but it's exciting action sequences & decent pace pull off a highly watchable bit of old fashioned action fun that will swoop you up in it's fantasy cape on an exciting journey. Recommended.
on 19 December 2012
This, I think, is the best kind of entertainment. It has a brave, handsome, humble prince (indie favourite Jake Gyllenhaal) and a beautiful princess (Gemma Arterton) who bicker almost as enjoyably as Narnia's Shasta and Aravis. It has a wonderful character player in Alfred Molina to provide much laugh-out-loud comedy. It even has some grand actorly gravitas courtesy of Ronald Pickup and Sir Ben Kingsley.
It has all the thrills and spills you could expect from an action adventure, with many a sword (or rather, scimitar) fight but nothing horribly cruel, and much spectacular parkour jumping-over-rooftop stuntwork. It has baddies aplenty, scary enough to make your eyes widen but not so horrific as to give you nightmares. It has the beautiful settings of ancient cities and sublime deserts and mountains, enhanced by a lovely orchestral score from the ever reliable Harry Gregson-Williams. It even has a little magic, and a worthwhile moral for everyone (especially those living in blended families) to take away from it.
The audio visual quality of this Blu-ray is fine. Many thanks to Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer for an energetically modern take on Arabian-Nights-style fable. Do enjoy this disc's 116 minutes of good, escapist fun.
on 22 May 2013
I love this film.......... it's exciting, it has thrills, love, comedy and a sexy hunk. What more could you ask!!!
on 23 August 2010
I was impressed with this movie. There seem to be a lot of people who don't like it and I've heard a lot of bad stuff myself from friends etc . . . However, I have to disagree. This movie isn't the disaster many people make it out to be. I think the problem stems from people expecting it to be like Pirates of the Caribbean, but in the desert. Same studio and the way the movie looks can certainly put this misconception across.
All in all, the story is enjoyable. It has its moments where you wish the dagger would stop getting lost or stolen but that's just the way they've done it. It's supposed to be a fun kid's adventure and that is what it is. The effects are nice and not overdone and I loved the sets and costumes. Acting is good - not meant to be Oscar winning stuff - in a fun, light-hearted kind of way. Jake Gyllenhaal is a convincing lead and pulled off a role I was expecting him to fail miserably in.
The kids will love this movie. You'll probably love this movie. Don't be put off by a few bad reviews.