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Film Review - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Film Review of Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Starring Jake Gyllenhall, Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley.

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Film Review - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

If you’re an avid gamer, you’re probably already familiar with the Prince of Persia video game series. I’ve only played one of the games, but I’m pretty sure the plot of the film is entirely new. This is good, because it keeps the idea fresh and appeals to those who know the games as well as those who don’t. So, it’s a new plot, but is it any good? Well, it’s certainly very loose, with the main story revolving around a fabled dagger which enables the holder to travel back a minute in time and someone’s desire to misuse it. Does that sound familiar? Does it sound predictable? Yes on both counts, I’m afraid. As soon as you see the Disney castle rearing its towers before the film even starts in earnest, you can make an educated guess that all will end happily, the guy will get the girl and that the Brit (in this case, the game raising Sir Ben Kingsley) will turn out to be the bad guy. The way in which we uncover all these clichés is quite jolly, with some impressive but not overworked special effects and a few good action scenes, but as a whole the piece is let down by some dodgy camera work in key places and a few flat performances from the cast. You may want fight scenes to be quick and exciting, but you can make it so quick that you can’t really see what’s going on. Jake Gyllenhaal leads the cast as Prince Dastan with ex-Bond girl Gemma Arterton as the love interest. They do seem to fire well off each other as their relationship goes from one of tension to barely concealed flirtation, but as characters they feel a little too two-dimensional, as do many of the other character. Dastan and his two brothers each have certain traits which define them; the eldest is the level-headed, rational one, the middle one aggressive and impulsive, and the youngest (Dastan) is eager to impress and exuberant. While this in itself is OK, it’s the fact that you see these traits all the way through with no variation; they appear flat and lack enough depth to really draw you into theirs and the film’s story. However, Sir Ben does bring the whole thing up a level, as any self-respecting British actor should in such a film. However, he isn’t in it enough to be able to overlook the dull bits. So should you spend seven and a half of your pounds to see it in the cinema? I would have to say not, but if you are able to get in on Orange Wednesdays or some similar discount scheme, then go for it if you want to see a good bit of fun with your mates. Otherwise, wait for the DVD.
* * * * Must see now!
* * * * Worth a viewing.
* * * Nothing special but good fun. <<
* * Wait for DVD release.
* Best avoiding.

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