spoiler alert: ye be warned, continue reading at yer own risk
I watched Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with my boyfriend last weekend. And despite the galactic nuisance I encountered, we both were actually dying to get out after the first half. It’s a lame movie, and this line isn’t related to the fact that I’m a gamer.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time offers a breath-taking environment of desert, with lots and lots of sand and tiny houses built on cliffs and a beautiful castle in the middle of it. Yes, it’s a promising fantasy scene, and I think the dudes in Sands of Time’s CGI team did their job well. My boyfriend doesn’t think so, but I guess that’s just because he does animation for a living. And yeah, it’s not Avatar. But hey, Avatar has set too high of a standard for any CGI-powered movie, so I’ll just give them a break. For an average movie lover as I am, it’s cool. After all, movie is all about presentation. How to present your brilliant ideas into an artsy, enjoyable movie.
Sands of Time has in fact a nice plot. Adapted from a game with the same title published in 1993, it tells a story about an orphan King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup) found in a market and adopted. And as you’ve all guessed, the wonder boy turns into an adventure-junkie Prince of Persia, Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal). Along with his brothers, Princes Garsiv (Toby Kebbell) and Tus (Richard Coyle), he invades Alamut, a city suspected for keeping a secret mass destructive weapon. They find none other than a robe which later Dastan presents to his dad. The robe turns out to be poisonous and kills the old king, so Dastan, blamed for murder, flees and thus his journey as a “Criminal of Persia” trying to recover his name begins. Teaming up with Alamut’s princess, Tamina (Gemma Arterton), he also has to save the universe by keeping the dagger with which you can turn back time from the bad guys.
Unfortunately, Mike Newell fails in its presentation. Kinda like having a sex in the middle of a beautiful desert, on a bed of roses, rite after warm hugs and small kisses and a few sips of Lacrima lui Ovidiu, with me wearing a sexy Middle Eastern bikini but he humps me in a hurry just to come as soon as possible. Frak.
Dastan and Tamina make my day with their arguments and sneaky efforts to get their hands on the magical dagger. But after Dastan, as in many cheesy Hollywood blockbusters, decides that saving the universe is much better than recovering his integrity, it feels like a crap. “This is your destiny,” has been overused over time that I can’t feel moved. Not anymore. Instead, I think the scriptwriters Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard could have done better if they keep the witty character of Dastan till the end. Or focus on a better ending, perhaps…
I mean, c’mon! You have Sands of Time, Dudes! What can be more appealing than the power of turning back the time? Play with us, make a fool out of your audience! Yet, no twist I see in Sands of Time. At all. *sigh*
‘Kay, I’ll just compliment the producers for the cast. Molina’s performance as Sheik Amar is top notch. Gyllenhaal and Arterton could have done better with their chemistry, but the only character bugging me was Ben Kingsley’s Nizam. What the hell was that? I could read all over his face, “Hey, I’m the villain cause the director said so, sue me.” LOL.
Last but not least, I salute Gyllenhaal and William Foster (young Dastan) for the Parkour jam they manage so well. I know Parkour isn’t easy, and David Belle must have been hard on training them, but they flow perfectly in some early scenes. I wish Belle had trained Kebbell, too. The fight scene of Dastan vs Garsiv could have been better if both do Parkour. But that’s not what we get. While Dastan is doing Underbar, Dyno, Swing, Wall Hop and Vault, Garsiv is taking a walk down the stairs. Shame on you, Prince.
Wait, should Prince of Persia: Sands of Time have been entitled Prince of Parkour? It’s another enjoyable element of the movie after the funky Molina’s. Naaah, let’s just call it Prince of Mehsia.
*I don’t do star-rating as I’m not Ebert. Instead I do butt-rating. And since I felt my butts were freaking burnt watching Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, I rate this movie dumb-ass, not kick-ass.