Prince of Persia: the sands of time, judging by the colon there will be sequels, is a film based on a computer game… wait, this isn’t the tragedy you think it’s going to be.
Computer game adaptations have had a disappointing history from the mediocre Resident Evil to the downright painful Super Mario Bros. Prince of Persia is slightly different, slightly above mediocre, it is pretty much a good and entertaining film.
Jerry Bruckheimer, as producer was a good sign for the production. Who would have thought that a film based on a theme park ride would reach the level of success or entertainment that the first Pirates of the Caribbean garnered? However maybe it was only Johnny Depp’s turn as the hilarious Captain Jack Sparrow that propelled it so high?
The problem with adapting a game to a film is storyline, writers are kept to such a narrow path and aren’t really given much depth to the storyline or characters as a book may give you. Prince of Persia dodges some of these problems, this could have been due to casting, maybe if lesser thesps had been cast in the main roles then this would have been another Tomb Raider but Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina and Ben Kingsley do their bests with a limited script.
The plot is simple, Prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) is framed for murder and must flee the city with Princess Tamina (Arterton) in toe, he finds a dagger that turns back time and must protect it from falling into the wrong hands. It is not a complicated story and there are some action sequences that are very enjoyable however they could be more thrilling, the ‘parkour’ is interesting and enjoyable to watch.
The highlight of the film is the chemistry between the two leads; with Prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) and Princess Tamina (Arterton) arguing and bantering like Han and Leia: Tamina, the feisty Princess and Prince Dastan brimming with cocky arrogance. The leads play their part well, Gyllenhaals accent is surprisingly good even though one does have to wonder why the Prince of Persia has a slightly cockney English accent but I have a feeling that could have been a part of the game. Arterton also does well as the feisty princess but lends her some humanity so she is not a completely one note character. Molina steals the show hamming it up as the ostrich- racing entrepreneur and Kingsley twists his moustache like the best of them.
There may be no surprises in this adaptation but the set pieces are enjoyable and the leads likeable enough to make this watchable.