Monday, February 9, 2015

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; adventure fantasy, USA, 2010; D: Mike Newell, S: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina

In the Middle ages, an orphan boy, Dastan, is adopted by the king of Persia because of his act of bravery. As a grown up, Dastan falls for his uncle's Nizam's treachery in order for the Persian army to invade the peaceful city of Alamut. When the king is killed, his two sons Garsiv and Tus are led to believe Dastan is the perpetrator. In order to prove his innocence, Dastan meets Alamu'ts princess Tamina and finds out Nizam invaded the city to get to her magic dagger that can enable a person to travel back in time. After a lot adventures, Tamina dies by falling into a pit, but Dastan uses the dagger's power to travel back in time and expose Nizam at the time of Alamut invasion. Nizam is killed, while Tamina is brought back to life.

The live action adaptation of the eponymous video game, "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" is a standard film with a standard 'good vs. bad' story involving a love story subplot - even though this has been done a thousand times already, a fresh tone could have been given thanks to a few inspired moments, but, alas, the film is overall humorless, bland, conventional, whereas not even the action sequences were choreographed in some clever of satisfying manner (with the exception of one at the beginning where Dastan is climbing up the walls of a fortress thanks to his army shooting arrows at the rocks above for him to grab onto). The technicalities - cinematography, editing, lighting, costumes, set designs - are all perfect, but when it comes down to what they are actually presenting, the essence, the story, it boils down to nothing particular. As a matter of fact, the only episode that causes a reaction among the viewers is the wonderful little comic character of ostrich loving merchant, played deliciously cynical by Alfred Molina. The main leads - Gyllenhaal, Arterton, Kingsley - are effective and give their best, but they cannot be better than the actually thin roles written in the solid, but unexciting and lukewarm script.


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