HUB Titles: “Prince of Persia”
I have a love/hate relationship with video game movies. I’ve played video games since I was four, but films based on them are a pimple on the butt cheek of Hollywood. Like two men at a prom in the South, it seems as though these two things just can’t go together. Disney decided they wanted in on a hopeless venture and founded the “Prince of Persia” franchise. Is “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” the film that will erase the stigma attached to video game movies?
The Premise: Things are not well in the mystical land of Persia. The Persian Empire decides to invade the holy city of Alamut for giggles. As it turns out, the city was actually built to guard the Dagger of Time (the references to the video game pretty much stop here). The youngest prince of Persia is a roguish adventurer named Dastan (Jake Gyllenhall. Seriously, Jake Gyllenhall is the prince of Persia). Dastan takes the Dagger of Time from some random dude during the battle and keeps it securely against his abs (Jake Gyllenhall’s abs).
After Dastan returns to Persia, the Persian king (Ronald Pickup; English) dies. Dastan’s brother Garsiv (Toby Kebbell; also English) immediately blames Dastan. Both Dastan’s oldest brother Tus (Richard Coyle; again English) and uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley; wait for it…English) blame him as well and Dastan flees Persia. He is aided by the Princess Tamina (Emma Arterton; Persian! Nah, she’s English), and together they battle the Disney villain who wants to use the Dagger of Time to destroy the world.
The Performance: I must say this is quite the breakout role for Jake Gyllenhall’s abs. They out-act almost everyone else in the movie. Jake Gyllenhall plays Prince Dastan with the same condescending sneer I had when I heard he was playing the prince of Persia. Emma Arterton plays her role of “sassy princess” by nagging constantly and randomly spouting expositions. The other actors go through the regular motions of acting and manage not to embarrass themselves.
Other Thoughts: I just can’t understand why there aren’t any actors from a land anywhere in the Asian continent. The movie passive-aggressively makes us aware that it is based on a video game with acrobatics and weapons from said game. All of this being said, “Prince of Persia” is the best video game movie I have seen. I just wish that wasn’t equivalent to saying that Giant Panda is my preference of being mauled by a bear.
Final Rating: The Hot Pocket. It feels mass produced. It’s both hammy and cheesy. Ultimately, it’s a guilty pleasure that doesn’t stand out. It will fall right in with all of the other action movies and be forgotten in the sands of time.