Being a fan of the
original video game, I had big expectations of this movie and
unfortunately like many MANY video game movies before it, this one
fails to hit the mark. To make matters worse, the creator of Prince
of Persia, Jordan Mechner actually wrote the story for this flick
and whether Jerry Bruckheimer and himself were on different pages,
the story feels like any big budget Hollywood blockbuster gone awry.
In the end, it's enjoyable at the time but ultimately quite
The story follows a young street urchin by the name of Dastan who
catches the eye of the King of Persia (Ronald Pickup) when he challenges the King's
men for a friend and a Parkour chase ensues. Unfortunately the young Dastan is
caught and just as he is about to have his hands chopped off for defiance, the King orders his guards to halt because he saw honour
in this peasant boy. Adopting Dastan as his own son, he joins the
ranks of his other two sons, Prince Tus (Richard Coyle) and Prince
Bis (Reece Ritchie).
Now a grown man, Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a prince of the people
and prefers spending time with his fellow brethren, rather than
Royalty. With war on the horizon, Dastan's Uncle Nazim (Ben
Kingsley) has uncovered that the holy city of Alamut has been
creating weapons for the enemies of Persia and under the orders of
Prince Tus, they prepare a siege of the city. As Alamut has not fallen for a
thousand years, Dastan uses his Parkour skills to breach the city
and open another gate. This saves the lives of thousands of Persians
and he is given the name of the Lion of Persia.
However, during the battle of Alamut, Dastan uncovered a mysterious dagger
that the beautiful Princess Tamina of Alamut (Gemma Arterton) was
attempting to protect and as the film progresses, we learn that this
dagger was created by the gods to allow mortals to go back in time.
However before Dastan uncovers the truth of his dagger, it appears
that his brother Tus has deceived him in killing the king by giving
him a poisoned garment. Forced into exile, Dastan attempts to clear
his name and along for the ride is Princess Tamina who both give
each other nothing but trouble until they learn that they are both
in the same predicament.
Without soiling... err spoiling the story any further, Prince of
Persia appears to be too clever for its own good, especially with
the subtle links of America (the Persians) invading Alamut (Iraq)
for weapons of mass destruction. There's also way too many "not
funny" comments by actor Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar who attempts to
provide comedic relief in the movie but unfortunately falls quite
Interesting enough, Gyllenhaal is actually half decent as the
Prince of Persia and so is the clichéd "girl power" princess Tamina
but at the end of the day, the story is quite un-inspirational and
ends up like a lacklustre Pirates of the Caribbean. Although I must
admit that the ending did surprise me but unfortunately this was
suited to a Star Trek movie, rather than a sword and sorcery
I could easily write an essay on why this was a bad movie but for the
majority of viewers, it will be just another stock standard blockbuster
and even on glorious IMAX, it could not save this film for me and I
kept on wondering when this was going to end. Director Mike Newell
definitely needs to go back to the drawing board for this one and
perhaps if it was more akin to Aladdin than Pirates of the Caribbean, it
would have worked ever better.
seen far worse!
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