This week I (David C/The Reel Boy) have the pleasure of presenting you with a sneak preview/review of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This was written by my good friend, former roommate, and partner in crime, David H. This is his first review here at Lara and the Reel Boy, and maybe his first anywhere besides his living room. So please, read on, and get excited about this movie.
Let me just get three things out of the way right now. 1) I have not played the video game. 2) This is a great movie that is totally worth the price of admission. I don’t care where you live. 3) The opinions expressed here are completely objective.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is the best video game adaptation movie to date. Of course when the closest contenders are Silent Hill, Resident Evil, and Pokémon 1, it’s not a hard title to claim. But I will go on to say that this movie has set the bar for all those other summer blockbusters.
Right from the get-go, this movie captures your attention with some free running action sequences that, I’m assuming, are very much like the game. Throughout the movie you feel that Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) can overcome any obstacle put in front of him using his athletic ability, whit, and a never-give-up attitude. He actually made me want to go buy a trampoline, work up some quid-pro-quos, and find a person who sells attitudes. Dastan gets a hold of a mystical time-traveling dagger (cooler than a phone booth, but not a Delorean). He then hooks up with Tamina (Gemma Arterton ) and off they go to save the world from people with selfish ambition. The plot and the cameras stay on them from hence forth keeping any sub plots to a bare minimum.
Some of the action scenes were hard to focus on leaving a feeling of choppiness. Almost like they were trying to hide some inadequate special effects or maneuvers. However, this could have been due to the fact that I wasn’t wearing my glasses. Also, the score at times seemed a little out of place or outdated. These are really my only criticisms
Director Mike Newell meets expectations, while Jake Gyllenhaal gives a performance worthy of his reputation. Gemma Arterton fits the character’s role quite nicely while complementing Jake, giving a good character dynamic that is anticipated from a Disney production. The movie does an excellent job giving just enough character depth to be intriguing, while avoiding the “trying too hard” trap that video game adaptations may fall into. Mike Newell draws you into the plot early and keeps your attention with narrow escapes, action sequences, and some predictable plot twistz. Let’s face it though; you’re not going to see this expecting a Rubik’s Cube to unfold. Why are you going to see this? Fun. Bingo. And Disney delivers just that in the “fun for all ages” fashion that it excels in.
99% of movies are historical fact. Prince of Persia is no exception. All too often time traveling heroes in history go unnoticed. I would like to personally thank the creators of Prince of Persia for bringing this piece of history back to life. So, this Memorial Day weekend, when you’re honoring those that saved a country or two, why not honor those that saved the world with back-flips and magic? I know I will.