Review - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), PG-13, 106 minutes - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was the post HeroesCon movie this year joining the ranks of such classically mediocre films as Superman Returns, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Hulk (Edward Norton), and Terminator: Salvation. It also happens to be the latest video game property to be adapted to the big screen.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead character Dastan, an orphan of the streets of Persia who became the adopted son of the King after the King witnessed Dastan stand up for a fellow orphan when the King's guard's caught him stealing. Dastan grows up to lead what is basically a special forces unit in the Persian Army. Dastan's unit is the group actually breaches the defenses of the holy city of Alamut when Dastan's brother Prince Tus decides to invade because he was told that Alamut had been supplying Persia's opposition with weapons. It is during this invasion that Dastan comes across a mystical dagger that allows it's user to release small amounts of the sands of time to turn back time. In the celebration of Persia's triumph over Alamut, the King is assassinated when he is burned to death by a poison laced prayer robe given to him as a gift by Dastan (which was supplied to him by his brother Tus). Dastan is instantly regarded as an enemy of the state and goes on the run in an attempt to clear his name.

Gemma Arterton plays Tamina, the princess of Alamut and current guardian of the dagger. She escapes Alamut along with Dastan in her attempt to reclaim the dagger from him. Tamina is at first a thorn in Dastan's side (why would she want to help someone that led the invasion of her city?), but as one would imagine, becomes a love interest as the film goes on.

Ben Kingsley pops up in a very Kingsley-ish role as Nizam, Dastan's uncle. The most entertaining character just may be Alfred Molina's Sheik Amar, a man of the desert who has his hands in many things not quite legal, including gambling on ostrich races.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time falls into the 'fun summer movie' category for me. It's an action flick with a bit of comedy. There are some nice action/fight sequences, and the dagger effect is well done. As video game movie adaptations go, it's pretty good, but that's not really saying much.


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