Posts Tagged ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’


2010_prince_of_persia_the_sands_of_time_movie-wideÜber producer Jerry Bruckheimer draws his inspiration from many places. He makes movies based on video games, amusement park rides, and toys. One day perhaps he’ll make one based on a bed spring, and you know what? It’ll be successful. The guy is genetically programmed to make movies that make money. His latest blockbuster-in-the-waiting is “The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” the action-adventure that hopes to make Jake Gyllenhaal (and his finely sculpted abs) the next Steve Reeves.

Based on the video game, the action packed story starts when Dastan is still a parkour practicing preteen peasant who out smarts the king’s guards and earns himself a spot in the royal household. Cut to many years later. Dastan is now a full grown man who looks a lot like “Brokeback Mountain” star Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s a bit on the wild side, but when he uses ancient firebombing techniques and slo mo to defeat enemy forces his reward is to be treated like a traitor and sent into exile. With the help of Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) and a crafty ostrich jockey (Alfred Molina) he might be able to prove his innocence and prevent the mystical Dagger of Time—releasing sand from the hilt of the knife turns back time and turns Dastan into a cool looking special effect—from falling into the wrong hands. Along the way there are double crosses, much videogame action and, of course, a love match. That Princess Tamina. Jake just can’t quit her.

This is the movie I’m sure Gyllenhaal’s management hopes does for him what “Pirates of the Caribbean” did for Johnny Depp, that is, get Bruckheimerized. Like he did for Will Smith, Nic Cage and Depp, all actors best known for doing risky character parts, Bruckheimer’s magic may turn him into household (although still difficult to spell) name. Will it work? Probably. Maybe. Who knows? Gyllenhaal is already a respected actor, and does what he can to emerge from this sword and sandal showdown with as much dignity intact as possible, but the movie and his character don’t have the same kind of verve that, say, Johnny Depp showed in the first “PotC.” Dastan is a big action role but aside from the odd emotional moment Gyllenhaal never really makes the role his own, in the way that Depp made Captain Jack Sparrow into a character that sold Halloween costumes and inspired the guy at the desk next to yours to do bad pirate impressions for weeks after seeing the movie. Savvy?

What it does have is lots of action. The camera NEVER stops moving and when “Prince of Persia”—the character and the movie—is flip, flop and flying it is campy good fun. Gyllenhaal is literally crawling the walls in a display of physical prowess (and some pretty cool parkour) that’ll make your eyeballs dance, but when the story goes into the Sands of Time Mythology ™, or should that be mumbi jumbo, it’ll make your previously watusi-ing eyeballs glaze over. The crazy time shifting folklore and hopelessly silly solution to the sands situation slows the movie down to a shuffle and is only saved by Sir Ben Kingsley’s eye-rolling pantomime.

“The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is typical Bruckheimer bombast. It’s a huge movie with big battle scenes, a love story, a few laughs (some intentional, some not) and even a flock of ostriches. It has everything you want from a summer blockbuster except really memorable characters or a noteworthy story.

For video game flicks, ladies call the shots In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA May 28, 2010

prince_of_persia20Uwe Boll has made a career of adapting video games for the big screen. The German filmmaker, nicknamed “the Master of Error” for his sloppily-made pictures, brought us House of the Dead (No. 56 on IMDB’s Bottom 100) and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (five per cent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes) among other crimes against cinema.

One that thankfully escaped Boll’s grasp is this weekend’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Despite the LA Times sweeping declaration that games don’t work as movies, Hollywood heavyweight Jerry Bruckheimer adapted Ubisoft’s hit game into a mega budget summer film.

In it, Jake Gyllenhaal plays an adventurous prince who must protect the mystical Dagger of Time while also romancing a pretty princess (Gemma Arterton).

Whether this is a blockbuster-in-waiting remains to be seen, but so far finding a good video game movie is harder than making it to level four of Ghosts ’n Goblins.

The first video game movie set the tone for many to come. 1993’s Super Mario Bros., based on the popular Nintendo game, is so awful its star, Bob Hoskins, calls it “the worst thing I ever did.” Critics  agreed.

But not all gamer movies are bargain bin-bound. Many of these movies are popular with audiences.

A recent poll revealed interesting insight into what gaming enthusiasts want in their movies.

“The X-factor in a game-to-film adaptation is a strong female lead,” said Helen Cowley, of the TV and film rental service Lovefilm. The poll is topped by films anchored by women in lead roles — Silent Hill, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, “so we’re hoping Gemma Arterton gives Jake Gyllenhaal a run for his money in the Prince of Persia,” Cowley adds.