A Dagger & Thongs Movie
In the vast ancient country of Persia lives King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup). Sharaman rules the country with the aid of his brother Nizam (Ben Kingsley), sons Tus (Richard Coyle) and Garsiv (Tony Kebbell) as well as Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) who Sharaman adopted when he witnessed him as a young boy displaying the spirit of a Prince when he defended a friend against the guards. When Tus uses the Royal army to invade a holy city where princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) resides King Sharma declares that Tamina and Dastan are to be married. But as he does so the King is killed via a poison and as the finger of suspicion falls upon Dastan he flees with Tamina to go on a quest to not only prove his innocence but keep a dagger with time travelling powers out of the hands of those who would use it for no good.
It had been sitting there for some time staring at me saying you know you are going to have to watch me sooner or later and so reluctantly I put on "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" fearing that this would be a movie of CGI which failed to impress. Yet surprisingly with an opening scene which featured a young Dastan giving the Royal guards the run around with some entertaining free running over roof tops it grabbed my attention with the energy, the look, the music and also the editing. I still had my reservations as to whether "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" would maintain the enthusiasm of the opening scenes but at least it grabbed my attention.
Unfortunately "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" doesn't maintain that early enthusiastic opening but delivers it in spits and spats. By that I mean when ever we have an action scene it grabs your attention with some larger than life daring do often with Dastan climbing, jumping and running all over the place. It also grabs your attention with some larger than life characters with Alfred Molina doing a wonderful job of delivering that comical character which young audiences have enjoyed long before Johnny Depp wowed audiences as Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean". And the blending of location with CGI actually works to create a land which is magnificent.
All of the above is what I loved about "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" and it was the above which constantly kept on grabbing my attention back from when it was drifting. Yes I did say drifting because when for those brief moments the focus turned from action to story it became less interesting. It isn't a case that the story doesn't work but more of a case that the storyline plays second fiddle to the action. And with the get out of jail free card of including a time travelling element it is very much a case that the storyline like a young child's imagination will wander all over the place and in to the land of the impossible just to make way for another spectacular action scene.
As for the acting, well all but one performance works for me. So Jake Gyllenhaal is great as Dastan and brings the energy, action hero and comedy to the character which makes all his scenes fun whilst Ben Kingsley brings his sinister eyes to his part. I could go on but then there is Gemma Arterton an actress who in the right role is great and here she certainly has the right look. But what Arterton doesn't have is the feistiness of say Catherine Zeta Jones in the "Zorro" movies and it is this lack of pluck which sticks out like a sore thumb as it makes Tamina to weak.
What this all boils down to is that "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" is a lot more entertaining than I expected it to be and admittedly I was engaged by the action a lot more than I expected to be. But it is a movie all about the show; the look, the action and the energy and sadly beyond that it doesn't really have the storyline to elevate it up to being great.