Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

29 May

As a kid, I remember playing the original Prince of Persia game in the early 90’s. I never got around playing the other versions because by the time the new ones were released, I had stopped playing games due to having a poorly built computer.

When I saw the movie trailer for the first time, I thought the lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal (who plays Prince Dastan) looked gay. I don’t know how the character had developed over the years in the game but this is not how I wanted the character to look like and I decided I didn’t want to watch the movie anymore. But then I got passes to the press screening and I couldn’t say no to this opportunity. Went there with minimal expectations and in all honestly, I enjoyed it in parts.

The story revolves around Prince Dastan who was adopted as a kid from the streets by King Sharaman (played by Ronald Pickup) of Persia and Princess Tamina (played by Gemma Arterton) of the Holy City of Alamut, who are trying to keep an ancient dagger away from the dark side who might abuse its capabilities of releasing the Sands of Time which basically means you can reverse time and allow its possessor to alter the past as per his/her wish.

Jake Gyllenhaa doing some parkour

Jake Gyllenhaal surprised me. I loved the parkour based action scenes that were executed to perfection and his acting overall was quite impressive for a game based action hero. Gemma Arterton in simple words was not as beautiful as she was made to be and her acting was dismal in places. The chemistry between them was about average while the short romantic scenes between them where they almost kissed were pointless and slowed the pace of the movie.

Ben Kingsley, Jake Gyllenhaa & Richard Coyle

The dark side is the evil uncle (how cliché) Nizam (played by Ben Kingsley) and the Hassansins. Ben Kingsley looked out of place and he was a shadow of the villain he could have been as I felt his character was poorly written giving him very little to work with. The Hassansins lead by their snake charmer pale looking leader (played by Gísli Örn Garðarsson) looked promising but a few of their scenes looked like a cheap rip-off of the Nazgul scenes from The Lord of the Rings which was kind of annoying. The Hassasins could have been given a better role but they just end up looking like a bunch of goons.

The support cast was a mixed bag. Sheik Amar (played by Alfred Molina) was a delight to watch with good comic timing and his acting does stand out from the rest. He was supported adequately by Seso (played by Steve Toussaint) who was the typical African dude who could kill you with his eyes closed but has a heart and conscious. Then we had two brothers; Prince Garsiv (played by Toby Kebbell) and Prince Tus (played by Richard Coyle) who were like 3 year old kids with no brains of their own being manipulated by the other characters…

Jake Gyllenhaa & Gemma Arterton

In the end, what really make this movie stand out are the stunning visuals. The world that unravels in front of us through graphics and well made sets is brilliant. The cinematography was top notch in every sense i.e. from the beautiful desert landscapes to the magnificent cities created. The story overall was also well laid out but some things could have been avoided to make the movie shorter (movie runtime: 116mins). As I said at the beginning of this review, I liked the movie in parts.

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