Saturday, September 25, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Directed by Mike Newell.
2010. Rated PG-13, 116 minutes.
Jake Gyllenhall
Gemma Arterton
Ben Kingsley
Alfred Molina
Steve Toussaint
Ronald Pickup
Richard Coyle
Toby Kebbell

In ancient Persia, class is everything and usually an unchanging fact of one’s life. Dastan (Gyllenhall) is lucky to be an exception. A parentless ruffian at about 10 years of age, his fortunes change for the better when the king of Persia happens to witness some of his mischief, takes a liking to the boy and adopts him.

King Sharaman (Pickup) already has two biological sons so Dastan can never be king, himself. Still, he fights proudly for his father and his brothers. Under his brother’s orders, while the king is away, Dastan helps invade the holy city of Alumet looking for weapons they are allegedly supplying to enemies of Persia. Naw, that doesn’t reference the War in Iraq, at all. The king is none too pleased, at first, but eventually convinced it was for a just cause. Why are you thinking about Cheney and Bush? Stop it.

A short while later, Dastan discovers he is possession of a very special knife. When the button on its handle is pushed, the person holding it travels back in time about 30 seconds. Of course, whoever framed our hero wants to get their ancient little paws on it.

PoP is simply swash-buckling, good fun. There are lots of chase scenes which include fighting and all sorts of acrobatics. There’s also lots of contentious dialogue, enough of which earns a giggle. Finally, there are some serious plotholes concerning the knife and its use, which I won’t get into, here. However, the positives outweigh the negatives enough for this to just be a fun, popcorn flick. Don’t go looking for great depth, you won’t find it. Though the parallels between the story and our reality are interesting but the opportunity to explore them is wasted. What you will find is a great deal of very nearly brainless entertainment that you can munch snacks to. It’s definitely a “movie night” type of flick to watch with a group.

The Opposite View: Richard Knight, Windy City Times

What the Internet Says: 6.8/10 on (9/24/10), 37% on, 50/100 on

MY SCORE: 6/10

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