Sunday, October 9, 2011

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

By s. Sunday, October 9, 2011 , , , , , , , ,
(116 min, 2010)
Director: Mike Newell
Writers: Boaz Yakin (screenplay), Doug Miro (screenplay)
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley

Not this time, Jerry.

Set in the mystical lands of Persia, a rogue prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a mysterious princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the Sands of Time -- a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.

Few years ago Jerry Bruckheimer found his cash cow - “Pirates of the Caribbean”. The three movies of the series brought him fame, tons of money, made Johnny Depp superstar and were the beginning of the career for Keira Knightley. This year, Bruckheimer attempted to do the same with “Prince of Persia”, hoping the first movie will give a beginning to money making series. But the movie flopped. As much as I enjoyed watching the movie, I think it's God's wrath for awful “King Arthur”, for which Jerry was also responsible.

The formula is the same as in “Pirates...” – damsel in distress - but feisty and gorgeous at the same time of course, young and brave noble man, eccentric weirdo, evil guy played by famous actor who usually appears in much serious movies, mysticism, magic, adventure, exotic landscapes, epic scenes.

And the movie is fun to watch because of all of that. But because it follows other adventure movies so closely it's hard to be surprised by anything. Would “Pirates of the Carribean” be enjoyable if Depp only had as few scenes as Molina has here? No. We would be left with wooden Bloom and bland Knightley. Here is the advantage “Prince of Persia” has over the famous series – Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton have great chemistry, the very old fashion kind of movie chemistry – nowadays the characters fall in love with each other at the very beginning, at first sight. Here it is wonderfully different – Tamina is outraged by the turn of events and even tries to kill Dastan and he, as much as appreciates her beauty is ready to sell her to save his own butt. It was great to watch them on screen and they truly carried the movie with the genuine passion and many hilarious exchanges their characters had.

Gyllenhaal was very good here, carefree and joyful. You like him from the very first scenes and you root for his character. Arterton is slowly becoming an expert in playing enlightened beauties, who reveal secrets in chilling narration and the softest of voices. I preferred how she looked in “Clash of the Titans”, but the girl is one of the very few seriously gorgeous actresses nowadays and “Prince of Persia” gives you many chances to admire her beauty. As for the rest of the cast, no one was bad, so that's something. Kingsley didn't seem all that thrilled to be a part of the show, though. Molina was funny, but very forgettable.

When I saw that movie was made by Disney I was a little worried. I can't watch animated movies anymore, usually throughout first 30 minutes I'm getting depressed feeling too old to enjoy naive scenes and cute little events on the screen which leaves me sad that I'm no longer a child. But fortunately, with “Prince of Persia” ,the movie was not purposely made to be sweet and innocent so that little kids wouldn't be scared. There are some freaky scenes here, as for the sex...well, not much of it, but as I mentioned the tension between Dastan and the princess is fantastic.

It is almost mandatory that action movie starts to get boring near the very ending. The final battle, as visually impressive, is very dull, given how predictable the movie is. But some of the effects in the movie are wonderful, so is the cinematography, beautifully portrayed sandy landscapes, the whole ambiance of the film places viewer right in the center of that heat pouring from the sun and all the action. I heard the movie is really long, it's not true – it's 110 minutes which flew quite fast. Yes, there are many needless fight scenes, but what else one can expect form adventure movie. To sum up, the film is a good choice to watch if you like either Jake or Gemma, or if you love nice, well done adventure movie with few breathtaking shots and likeable heroes, which will keep you entertained and leave you uplifted.


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