June 13, 2010
09.06: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Oh my gods. I wasn’t expecting much with this. I’d heard it wasn’t that good. But, dear lords... this was an awful, horrible film. There is, quite simply, absolutely nothing to recommend it.
It always surprises me a little when a film like this, with a decent cast, a half-decent director, available funds and powerhouse producer fails so utterly. Sure the suits and the money-counters want to dumb everything down to reach the widest audience possible, but that doesn't mean they have to foist such unctuous crap on to us. You'd think, with a cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Sir Ben Kingsley and Gemma Arterton and with Jerry Bruckheimer (the man behind Pirates of the Caribbean) and Mike Newell directing, this would be the film to break the dreaded video-game movie curse. Alas and alack, they did not.
There is, of course, some sort of hokum “plot” about a mystical dagger and a street urchin prince and an evil uncle, but none of it really makes much sense. And honestly, no-one really gives a damn. Gyllenhaal and Arterton give it the ole' college try with regards to the direly awful "banter" they have to try and deliver to one another, but it never works. The action and fight scenes are ugly and confusing, with no style or even geography to them. The special effects are barely that, with the CGI looking obvious and ropey. Due to the whole "sands of time" malarkey, pretty much the entirety of the story is rendered null and void in the end, making the entire film utterly bloody pointless.
You can see what they were going for here. They were trying to make a sand filled Pirates with hints of Indiana Jones like adventure; but there is no wit and no energy to Prince of Persia. It takes a leap... and falls. On to big sharp pointy spikes of death. Covered in poison. With boiling acid then poured on it.