For a diehard fan of the Prince Of Persia video game series, I was really stoked about the movie adaptation. Written by Jordan Mechner (the dude behind the game series) with a whole new bunch of characters based on the Sands Of Time trilogy and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (who brought us The Pirates Of The Caribbean), the swashbuckling and dry humour that both are known for is wonderfully present.
I knew for a start though, that despite all that, the movie was not going to reach the standard of the games’ storylines, and I was right. That said, the movie surpassed expectation, proving to be highly entertaining in its own right. Pitiably, Jake Gyllenhaal is no Johnny Depp, and his Prince Dastan character can hold a torch to neither Mechner’s game Princes nor Bruckheimer’s Jack Sparrow. He is, to put it blandly, boring, and a little bit ugly. His was also, however, the only casting choice I disagreed with in this show. Sir Ben Kingsley, using almost no effort, put on a strong performance as Nizam, the Prince’s uncle. Gemma Arterton is stunning as Princess Tamina, and made it very hard for me to remove her from my view whenever she was on screen. Not the strongest of actresses, but she held her own as a sparring partner to the Prince. Ronald Pickup was spot-on as King Sharaman, Alfred Molina was delightfully entertaining as Sheik Amar and all fans of the UK tv series Coupling will appeciate seeing Richard Coyle in an unbecoming role as Dastan’s brother Tus (it may take some getting used to though!).
Well-paced and written with entertainment in mind, you absolutely can’t go wrong watching this one. The action is just right, the dialogue is just right, and the homages to the Sands Of Time games are just right; making this a winner whether you’re a fan of the games or just a passive movie viewer.
Director: Mike Newell
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jordan Mechner, Chad Oman, Eric McLeod & Mike Stenson
Screenwriters: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina