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Sands of Time - I could do with my own time-reversing sand so I can not watch
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (DVD)
Member Name: SpiderDreams
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (DVD)
Advantages: Decent fight scenes and chases
Disadvantages: Bad acting by the female lead, plot was pretty weak
FILM REVIEW ONY
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley
Director: Mike Newell
Genre: Action, adventure, fantasy
Run Time: 116mins
Release date: 2010
Set in Persia and following the invasion of the ancient city Alamut, a powerful dagger with magic sand inside is discovered that can reverse time. An attempt to get the dagger to safety fails and it ends up in the hands of Dastan, once a lowly street orphan and now a Prince of Persia. Soon Dastan finds himself running for his life, when he is falsely accused of murder. On the run with the princess from the invaded city, the pair must stop the real bad-guy from getting the dagger and ruling the world.
The plot seems a bit patchy and never really felt strong for an idea although I am sure there were ways they could have taken it which would have meant a good fantasy. Unfortunately....they failed to do that.
[Acting / dialogue]
The acting wasn't the worst I've seen, but it wasn't great either. While Jake Gyllenhaal had what I thought was the right look for the character Dastan the acting just didn't feel complimentary to the character. It was as if the two were not in sync. However this could have been made worse by the gods-awful dialogue!!
Whoever wrote this definitely didn't think enough about how it sounded. All through the movie the dialogue clumped around with steel-toe-capped boots. One huge example was the use of contractions such as "I'll" or "we'd" or "I've" - these just rang hollow in the movie and sounded to "real life" rather than ancient Persian! With fantasy movies and novels, very rarely does this kind of dialogue work and can instead lead to a disconnection.
Gemma Arterton who played the Princess Tamina was just awful. I had no interest in her character and couldn't empathise at all. Personally she could have been eaten by a sand worm for all I cared. I found the acting to be pretty one dimensional from her and even the look she had didn't really fit well with the overall feel of the movie in my opinion. I felt she was meant to have this mysterious quality, but it failed to materialise.
The surprise I found came in the form of Richard Coyle who played Prince Tus. I have only seen Coyle once before in the comedy series Coupling where he played the character Jeff and was hilarious. It actually took me about 30mins before I pegged who it was under the beard. I thought he played the regal prince pretty well and I certainly could not see the character "jeff" anywhere.
[Fight / chase scenes]
The one real saving grace to this movie was the fight scenes, hats off to the stunt man for Jake Gyllenhaal as he did an excellent job. There are some great moves, lots of parkour (free running) styles to enjoy and while the sword fights aren't as good, they weren't too bad and are definitely watchable.
There was a little of that annoying shaky camera rubbish that all movies seem to employ now (I have a real issue with this as I suffer from vertigo which sometimes triggered by excessive shaky shots) however they were not over done in this movie and were mostly bearable.
(Don't get me wrong, this isn't the best ever fight / chase scenes but they were good and certainly helped me get through this movie!)
There are some roof top running / jumping / standing still staring out over the city shots that just reminded me of Assassins Creed (the game, which made me think they REALLY should make that a movie...if they haven't already decided too).
Can't remember the music, think it worked well with the movie in the sense that is must have connected to the "style" of the movie (eg fantasy) and worked enough not to catch my ear as jarring. Other than that, I have no real memory of it so nothing to write home about.
The big fall down was the obvious, ham-fisted attempt to have Dastan and Tamina come together. Apparently a movie can't have a male and female main character without romance stomping through. However the two characters / actors failed to get across any real chemistry and while the method of them being enemies then falling for each other is pretty tried and true, this movie just botched it. Gyllenhaal didn't do TOO bad a job at playing the roguish Dastan, but Arterton just came across as whiny, bitchy and a little pathetic. I think they were actually going for determined, commanding, regal... they failed, miserably.
There was also that annoying scene that keeps appearing in movies these days that is really getting my goat... where some huge crisis / threat etc is happening right now....and the main characters manage to stop for a snog in the middle of it.... this appears to happen especially when there is a very specific deadline.
There was so much potential for making this movie great. Maybe it was because it was a 12A and they could have made it darker and instead kept it as "family fun".
Now I can stand simple, no-brainer fantasy films (like Scorpion King / The Mummy etc) where you really don't have to think much and just enjoy the adventure. But this was not even mildly entertaining (apart from the fight scenes and there were not enough of them to make this movie acceptable). Not the worse movie I've ever seen but failed to impress me, will not be bothering to watch it again.
Summary: Okay, not great