USA 2010   Directed by: Mike Newell Written by: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Jordan Mechner (screen story & video game series) Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman, Eric Mcleod, Mike Stenson  Cinematography: John Seale  Editing: Mick Audsley, Michael Kahn, Martin Walsh  Music: Harry Gregson-Williams  Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint, Toby Kebbell, Richard Coyle, Ronald Pickup, Reece Ritchie

A powerful dagger in Persia that will destroy the world unless if a young, from-rags-to-riches Prince can reclaim it from the slimy hands of his double-crossing royal uncle… Let’s translate this into present-day scenario, shall we? Powerful dagger (weapon of mass destruction). Persia (the Middle East). Prince (the US of A). And, evil uncle (well, there’s a handful of them to pick from). Too deep? Okay, moving on.

PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME is not a bad attempt at turning a video game into a movie franchise. Under the talons of Jerry “I want it my way” Bruckheimer, it came out meatier than his last Disney trilogy – PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. And, with the Mike Newell at the helm (although, you wouldn’t be able to tell because of Bruckheimer), PRINCE OF PERSIA looked, felt, and entertained to the end.

And because it’s a Bruckheimer production, this movie played by the book, a little something for everyone. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Prince Dastan (our hero) had his rippling six-pack to keep the ladies groping the seats. Gemma Arterton’s Princess Tamina (the distressed damsel) dangled every testosterone-crazed boy on a thick leash. For the picky film-buffs who might even want to put this production and cast under the microscope, Ben Kingsley’s uncle Nizam and Alfred Molina’s greedy sheik Amar should quench their thirst for blood-donating roles. And, for the fan-boys, the special effects were even top-notch. This little Hollywood epic should rake in enough dough to keep the studios smiling.

With that said, the story could have strung along a little tighter. Scenes felt jumpy, moving from character to character, in the hope of filling in the gaps necessary for the ending to pan out. As much as the two stars being in their uber-sexy form, I didn’t feel the chemistry between them. It could be that even though Gyllenhaal finally shed his boyish form and transformed into a calendar, he couldn’t shake loose his boyish antics, and immaturity. He didn’t look like he had the swagger to net a sophisticated, mouth-watering Arterton. The last time I remember seeing her being manhandled was by one James Bond in THE QUANTUM OF SOLACE, who had more horsepower in his pinky than Gyllenhaal’s entire trailer with him in the driver’s seat. Lastly, sorry if I’m being spoiled by too much of a good thing, there were too many action scenes. Yes, so many and so much that it made the plot to only seem like fillers in between the action. They better be careful or they won’t have anything left to impress for future episodes.


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