Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a movie based on a video game. This has been done in the past to hit or miss success. This time it is a hit because the movie wisely focuses on the action and lets the plot lines fall where they may. Don't try to make any sense out of the story and you will have a fine old time.
The movie starts with the back story of Prince Dastan. He was an orphan roaming the streets of a Persian city when he caught the eye of King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup). The king was impressed with the boy's athletic skills as well as his protective heart. He decides on the spot to adopt him and he does.
The film then jumps to twenty or so years later when Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) has equal title with his two brothers Tus and Garsiv (Richard Coyle ad Toby Kebbell). The three of them, along with their Uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley), decide they should invade a holy city because it is suspected the city is stocking up on weapons of mass destruction. The princess who rules the city is named Tamina (Gemma Arterton) and she has a secret about a magical dagger.
The magical dagger, which can turn back time, figures prominently in the rest of the movie's story. Dastan and Tamina try to protect it from the bad guys and that leads to lots of action events in very exotic and intriguing places. There are sandstorms, ostrich races, attacks by snakes, etc. You won't be bored with what is happening, you just won't be sure why it is happening.
Gyllenhaal is in great shape to play Dastan but you wonder why he is affecting a British accent. Do all Persians speak like the British? He does a nice job of it, but you just have to wonder why. Even with an accent Gyllenhaal is not your most appealing hero. He has all the physical attributes but those puppy dog eyes of his make you want to just pat him on the head and play fetch.
Arterton on the other hand is the perfect feisty princess. She makes the movie fun and gives Gyllenhaal whatever chemistry he manages to have on screen. She is also very, very pretty.
Alfred Molina provides comic relief as a petty criminal who complains about the burden of taxes on the small people. Kingsley adds tension as a man who may be really good or really bad.
The film is rated PG-13 for violence but it is more of the action type and is never graphic.
Even though it is rated PG-13 this is a movie 8 to 12 year old boys will love. Fathers can have a good time taking to their sons to see it and enjoy it themselves. You can leave mom at home unless she is a big Gyllenhaal fan.
Even though it has a Bobby in the shower in "Dallas" kind of ending, the movie is still worth seeing just for the physical fun of it all.
I scored Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time a gritty 6 out of 10.
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