PRINCE OF PERSIA: The Sands Of Time - Action Caper
PRINCE OF PERSIA: The Sands Of Time (fantasy adventure)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton and Alfred Molina
Director: Mike Newell
Screenplay: Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Jordan Mechner and Boaz Yakin (from the 2003 videogame)
Time: 115 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL: Having milked the Pirates Of The Caribbean theme for all he can get, producer Jerry Bruckheimer is turning to the Arabian Nights-based vidgame as his new cash cow. Yeah, after what Pirates and Transformers did at the box-office, there can be no doubt that this Prince of Persia will work up a storm at the cineplexes.
Bruckheimer and director Mike Newell seem to be trying to raise the standard in CGI action sequences and stunts, as usual, without caring much for credibility or IQ.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT: After being framed for the murder of the benevolent King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup), adopted Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) escapes with Princess Tamina (Gemina Arterton) and a dagger that can 'rewind' time.
And no prizes for guessing that the baddies are also trying to get their hands on the dagger.
HITS & MISSES: The first thing that strikes me as odd about this movie is that the Arabian hero and heroine (Gyllenhaal and Arterton) speak with an English accent. Then after catching a few more minutes of the incredulous story, I cease to care about the accent or anything that resembles logic - and just join the flow of the adventure.
Newell, who has tried his hand on CGI magic with Harry Potter, makes everything look and feel fast and exciting. We wish he had done something about the convoluted plot, though. As the hero of the piece, Gyllenhaal is not as charming as Johnny Depp's Capt Jack Sparrow but he should be fine with the ladies in the audience in the macho department. Arterton's Brit accent makes her look out of place in the movie - but we soon warm up to her as the princess/priestess. However, as far as romance is concerned, there won't be much lust in the dust.
Ben Kingsley, as the villainous brother of the king, and Alfred Molina, as a conniving trader who runs ostrich races, help to provide colour and comic relief.
THE LOWDOWN: The start of another Bruckheimer blockbuster franchise.