Disney has a hit with the latest video-game adaptation in the widely popular Prince of Persia game franchise.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a hit in the sense that it checks all the correct boxes required for a successful blockbuster. It is full of action, fast paced, visually spectacular, contains eye-candy for both sexes and is family-friendly, appealing to the widest spectrum of audiences.
Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Jarhead) plays Prince Dastan, the orphan child taken into the Persian royal family as a youngster and raised as one of their own. After the Kingdom’s most recent raid of the holy city of Alamut, Dastan is framed for the death of the king and escapes the city. He is forced to team up with Alamut’s Princess Tamina, played by Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans, Quantum of Solice) as the two go on the run with the possession of a magical dagger, which has the power to unleash ‘the sands of time’ – a powerful dust storm that can destroy the world. Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast, Ghandi) plays the villainous Nizam, who is out to claim the dagger for his own treacherous purposes.
Gyllenhaal provides a more then suitable performance in the lead role. He exudes enough charm and wit in his character to keep with the film’s light natured theme but also pulls off the character’s serious side when it calls for it with enough conviction. Arterton also produces an adequate performance in her role and the two leads work well together, however the unfulfilled sexual tension between the characters becomes annoying by the end of the film. Ben Kingsley is excellent as always as the lead villain, however his character is seemingly under-utilised and could have been given substantially more depth of character.
The visual effects are up to par in this film but it is the fight choreography and action sequences that shine in this film. Stylistically, it borrows several adventure elements from Disney’s other successful franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean, which work well in this film also. The only thing this film lacks compared to Pirates is the lack of character depth, however the less convoluted story makes up for that in this instance.
Director Mike Newell (who also directed Four Weddings and a Funeral and Donnie Brasco) brings us a successful entry into the popular Prince of Persia game franchise. This film can be used as a benchmark for other upcoming video-game franchises as it rights the wrongs of other adaptations before it. Prince of Persia is a fun, entertaining, fast-paced action adventure film suitable for all audiences.
In the film, characters are prominently seen handling apples and pomegranates. Pomegranates were considered the “original” apples, and were symbols of strength to the Persian armies.