Review of 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time'

prince_of_persia.jpg Set in the lands of the Persian Empire of the sixth century Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the adopted son of King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup) whose street fighter background allows him to quickly breach the walls of the sacred city of Alamut who is believed to be providing the empire's enemies with weapons. When Alamut is defeated Dastan is provided with a cloak by his brother Tus (Richard Coyle) to give to his father that ends up being poisoned and kills the king. Fleeing from the wrath of his brothers and the kingdom he happens across a dagger containing sand that has the ability to rewind time. With the help of Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) from Alamut he seeks to clear his name of this heinous crime but will the forces of evil prevail?

Quite an interesting action flick with some really good effects. The acting is reasonable but it is the physical action that takes centre stage here, much like the video game on which this movie is based. These action sequences are really quite incredible and meticulously choreographed. To make things interesting there are a number plot twists but I have to admit that half way through the film I knew how it was going to end…

Ben Kingsley as Nizam, the kings brother and advisor, really offers up a tremendous, though nicely understated performance - Kingsley offers up a bit of class. Sheik Amar (Alfred Molina) is quite a bit of fun as well seeking recompense for the loss of his prized racing ostriches but whose intentions are always plain to see - He provides welcome relief from the the otherwise very series characters (even the light banter between Tamina and Dastan is not quite as amusing). Gyllenhaal is reasonable as Dastan though, other than jumping about a lot in response to the chaos around him, never seems to have a lot to do with his character so is somewhat disappointing. Arterton shows a lot of spunk as Tamina but often is underused and ends up being “eye candy” instead making way for the other (male) characters.

A big summer adventure that, unfairly, never seemed to take off at the box office. Fun though.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-01-04

Directed by: Mike Newell

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Year: 2010

Length: 116 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Mike Newell: