Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Released on May 28, 2010
Directed by Mike Newell
Written by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint, Toby Kebbell, Richard Coyle, Ronald Pickup, Reece Ritchie, Claudio Pacifico, Thomas DuPont, Gísli Örn Garðarsson
Oh good lord, yet another hopeless attempt at adapting a movie from a video game. This Disneyfied sword-and-sorcery escapism was just another CG-infused, historically-modernized shower of light and sound, which to be appreciated at all needed to be seen on a giant screen, with giant sound, with your giant intelligence dial turned to zero. Otherwise, you might as well just forget it.
Jake Gyllenhaal, who I’m sure the filmmakers hoped would kick-start a successful new franchise, played the title prince Dastan, who after an attack on a neighboring city captures a princess and claims a mystical dagger from the spoils. From there, he’s blamed for the murder of his stepfather, goes on the run with the princess in tow, discovers the sand within the hilt of the dagger can somehow turn back time, and of course prevents an apocalypse.
I’d never played the computer game the story was based on, and knew nothing about the game itself except for the fact there was a desert involved, and apparently a prince from Persia. Both obviously were woven into the screenplay, as were all the typical screenplay themes, interactions, outcomes, and baloney…but what else did you expect from an overblown action-adventure story brought to you by Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer?
Gyllenhaal gave it his ripped-ab best, but his current-day mannerisms and dialogue were annoyingly out of place, and I never once felt like I was transported back into that time and setting. The film itself borrowed heavily from Raiders of the Lost Ark (it even borrowed Alfred Molina), and there was enough yelling and screeching going on to wake the Hassansin dead. In the end, the questions I asked myself were, was I entertained, and would I watch it again? The answers, of course, were hardly, and no. (3/10)