Exactly The Sands of Time have proven that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is an entertaining fantasy movie worth watching. I remember all the hate that followed it some ten years ago. People thought that it was over-the-top, a parody of the movie it should have been and that Jake Gyllenhaal was miscast. And while all of these things are true to some extent, they still don’t take away much from this slick eye candy. Go into it expecting a lavish, visually impressive summer blockbuster experience and you will get it. We will travel back in time, to ancient Persia (now Iran) to follow Dastan’s effort’s to save the world.
What’s interesting about Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is that you really can’t tell that it’s based on a video game. It feels like your average extravagant production and you can see where those $200 million went. Yes, the budget for this movie was a whopping $200 million. A large chunk of that money went to Jake but a hefty portion went to all the CGI artists. They’ve really outdone themselves with this one. Also, I haven’t even mentioned all the practical effects and stunts. Stunts that are a large part of the appeal of this movie.
So, I don’t know if you heard about Parkour, a discipline that tests your physical abilities in the urban environment. We’ve already seen some movies feature it prominently like District B13 and basically all of Jackie Chan movies. Here, Dastan will be jumping off buildings and doing all kinds of other shit like he’s playing Assassin’s Creed. Add to that scenes with hundreds of stunts and you got yourself one hell of a movie. The atmosphere is vibrant and it’s got that adventurous vibe about it. You know the one I’m talking about like anything might happen in the next scene.
King Sharaman adopts young rascal Dastan after witnessing his skills and bravery. Years and years have passed and Dastan has grown only stronger. However, there’s trouble afoot. Sharaman’s enemies are forging a deadly plan and there’s only one man who can stop them. Dastan manages to stop the city of Alamut’s evil plans but fails to find the weapons they were supposed to have. This is just the beginning of his problems as he soon finds himself in exile and with a bounty on his head. Little does he know that the entire world will soon hang in balance because of his actions.
So, you’ve got a prince, princess, evil plans, magical items and the fate of the world in balance, all classical elements of great fantasy movies. These few years around 2010 brought on a number of visually stunning fantasy movies. I’m talking about movies like John Carter, Clash of the Titans, and Hercules. Moreover, Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Doom were starting to prove that you can make a good movie based on a video game. When you put all of this together you get Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
Jake Gyllenhaal could’ve been better but at least Gemma Arterton was great. Of course, you could bet your sweet ass that two veterans, Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina also gave convincing performances. I do think that they should have included at least one or two Persian actors but I can see why they didn’t. I don’t approve of it but I understand and this fucking Disney we’re talking about here, just to be clear. At least they went with the PG-13 rating making us wonder what would this movie look like with a heavy R rating.
Finally, if you like the vibe of this movie and want to check out the video games on which it’s based, I think that Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is your best option. The game still looks pretty cool and the gameplay mechanics are excellent.
Director: Mike Newell
Writers: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Richard Coyle, Ronald Pickup
Fun Facts: Jake Gyllenhaal learned parkour in preparation for the film.