Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. C

In the Prince of Persia video game, the dagger is a redo device, in the movie it's what drives the plot. To me, it's never good when a film is based off a video game, and it's even worse when an integral part of the story is just a peripheral element from the source. But to be honest, that's not what's really wrong with the film. The story is there, as are the costumes, the locations, and the special effects (though the latter looks like cartoon work next to some of the best CGI). What's lacking is a Jack Sparrow and a director who doesn't cheat his way through action scenes (which are really the selling point of the film). The first problem would be tough to solve, but the movie is, as one critic pointed out, like watching Pirates of the Caribbean with only Turner and Swan as the heroes. Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton aren't bad, but the movie can be a little dull with just the two of them. The sparks and comic energy that made the first Pirates of the Caribbean so much fun are missing here, and it really shows. My other complaint is concerned with those numerous action sequences. Mike Newell, with one big budget film (Harry Potter 4) already under his belt, directs some of the worst looking fight scenes I've seen in recent years. Besides settling for the constant quick cuts that make the fight moves nearly indiscernible, Newell seems to put in a slow motion sequence every ten seconds that make the movie look twenty years old. Still, Prince of Persia is completely watchable wannabe throwback entertainment, goofy, predictable, and in constant motion. It won't bore you, but unfortunately it won't impress much either.

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