Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia is too long a movie, longer than its title, with a juvenile, predictable plot and very thin characters. Still, there's a lot to be said for the movie. I actually liked it a lot.

The movie opens with the king adopting an orphan boy, a boy who seems to vault over the houses in the street to escape the king's guards. The boy grows up to be Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Dastan, the third of the king's sons. However, when Dastan is believed to have killed their beloved father, he becomes a fugitive.

It gets a little more complicated than that when he discovers a magic dagger that can reverse time for one minute. One minute doesn't seem like a lot, but if used correctly, it could certainly save a life or two. However, the princess whose city-state he and his brothers had just conquered has other plans for the dagger.

Dastan seems to have street smarts, but doesn't pick up on the fact that his uncle is played by Sir Ben Kingsley, and is obviously the bad guy. I mean, c'mon. Everybody in the theatre knew it.

The sets are gorgeous, the stunts are amazing. Gyllenhaal obviously did a lot of his own work in that regard. And there are some interesting characters thrown into the mix, although, as I said earlier, their characters are paper-thin. Award-winning Alfred Molina is no more than a bit of comedy here, but he does forward the plot a bit. I don't know where they found Gemma Arterton as Dastan's love interest, the princess, but she is truly amazing. Hopefully we'll see her again soon.

It's a beautiful picture with a lot of predictability and silliness, but you'll probably like it like I did. The movie is much better than the trailers, which I found dumb and confusing. Thumb's up for Prince of Persia.


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