Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prince of Persia Review


Films based off video games have a bit of a bad reputation, and for mostly good reason. When put in the same category as Blood Rayne, Mario Brothers, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, and Doom it's difficult to be very enthusiastic toward the concept of video game adaptations. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is definitely better than the films previously listed, but it does not escape unscathed.

Having played a bit of the Sands of Time game I'll start off with how the story differs from the source material. Other than both having a dagger with the power to turn back time to its wielder the movie's plot is completely different. In the movie the title character is a street rat ripped straight from Aladdin who is adopted by the King and becomes a Prince of Persia. Events occur that end with the Prince coming into possession of the magic dagger which thrusts him on an adventure. This isn't ground breaking story telling, but it manages to carry the film along.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead role and while he doesn't exactly look Persian, he does manage to capture the appearance and personality of the character from the game. The rest of the cast is also comprised of mostly non Persian actors, but seem to fit well in their roles.

The film's major problems do not rest on the shoulders of the actors, but in how it is all presented. Awkward moments of slow motion break up of the flow of scenes, and prove to be utterly unnecessary. Shots of what are clearly computer generated sand dunes are glaring obvious among fairly well crafted set pieces. Portions of the film feel completely pointless and fail to move the plot forward at all. A number of other flaws keep The Prince of Persia from being truly great, but they aren't enough to make it terrible.

Final Score: B

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