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2 stars:"Prince of Persia: The sands of Time" is buried beneath the sands of CGI overload ..........

  • Jun 1, 2010

Long ago in the mystical land of Persia there is a story told of a man, a man who is said to be destined to be a hero, a man would save his kingdom from an evil underhanded force that threatens to undone all that is good. This man is destined to become royalty but he is not born of royal blood this man is destined to become a hero. A hero known as The Prince of Persia "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" is a visually stunning and grand special effects extravaganza  that  is based off the ultra-mega popular "Prince of Persia" video-game franchise that stretches  over 21 years. However, it lacks the cohesive narrative and deep well thought out story that made the 2003 remake of the 1989 classic "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (the game for which this film is based upon) the phenomenal video game that it was. But do not be despaired Mike Newell's "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"   does have one thing going for it is fun  and has some great action sequences coupled with mild special effects. Sad to say, that is all this film has going for it as the well thought story and decent plot are buried beneath the sands of CGI overload and any chances of this film succeeding as well.



Director Mike Newell(Four weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco, Pushing Tin and Mona Lisa Smile)  is a director I do not have very much  respect for  now don't get me wrong he has made some exceptional  films(Donnie Brasco, Four Weddings and a Funeral  and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Moreover, some not so exceptional films (Pushing Tin and Mona Lisa Smile) with "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” Newell lowers himself to nothing more than a mere action/adventure director. Who is more concerned with the special effects than of the story and plot that causes this already weak film to fall apart at seam, like a sweater when you keep pulling on a loose thread and as you keep pulling, the whole thing comes apart and ends up as nothing more than a tangle mess on the floor. That is in a nutshell how you could describe the pace of this picture; throughout the film there is nothing but wall to wall action  ,unbelievable video-game styled stunts, and a plot twist that is not so shocking or new for that matter. There are moments in this film  that are very good and lead me to believe that it had what it took to be great  but then the over the top action sequences start completely overshadowing the good scenes that came  before, lowering the level of this film from  serious adventure film to hooky adventure comedy.



There is not much I can say in this films favor, other than that it has gorgeous local, beautiful cinematography and astounding set designs. Other than that, this film does not offer anything else to the viewer except pure eye candy from the visuals to Gemma Arterton. The script by Jordan Mechner (story), Boaz Yakin (director of Remember the Titans), Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard leaves much to be desired it has potential to be more than what it is. Nevertheless, the story of this film is drowned out by the visuals and the mediocrity of the script at crucial points in the film and the skill and care in others. I will admit that I was thoroughly entertained throughout this film  but I was also bored at the same time,  the fights and the free running  stunts become a little boring half way in but they are stunning to look at and that is something(If anything at all). "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" is as dull as it is spectacular, as chaotic as it is fun  but even it being visually captivating and  thoroughly entertaining   can not  save this film from falling short of  expectations.



I like Jake Gyllenhaal I think he is a fantastic actor with a fine resume of films behind him most notably: "Zodiac"(2007), "Donnie Darko"(2001), "October Sky"(1999), "Jarhead"(2005), "Proof"(2005) and "Brothers"(2009). But in Mike Newell's  "Prince of Persia: The Sands of  Time"  he is so woefully miscast that it is almost laughable, actually it is laughable  the dull jokes, the cliché way he portrays the hero Dastan  always leaping and running about like  a jackrabbit on steroids. Gyllenhaal is not completely to blame for his stale performance  he has to rely on the script and the director  which are both working at mediocre levels and against Gyllenhaal if  there was a better script  this film might have been able to live up to the epic hype that was established by marketing it was all for not. I will say this in his favor he does try his very best to make the role believable but he falls under the thumb of the poor script and laughably bad dialogue making him the biggest eyesore in the entire picture. The rest of the cast including Gemma Arterton, Toby Kebbell, Steve Toussiant, Richard Coyle, Ronald Pickup and Ben Kingsley with Alfred Molina either range from poor to average to pretty good  is  ham it up  something fierce in this extremely flawed and poorly executed video-game adaptation that proves that a good video-game adaptation is impossible.     




"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" could have been more than what it was  it could have been a high grade, out of this world adventure film  that boggled the mind and challenged the viewers imaginations. Instead all it does is challenged the viewers to try and stay awake through the heavy amount of cheesy action sequences and a dull worn out plot twist  that you can see coming from miles away. "Prince of Persia" is a film that leaves you severely wanting more than what you received and even though what you received, is entertaining it is not enough you come out    wanting more, so much more. The film is on such a low level that it will only appeal to young children preferably between the ages of 10-14 who still think theses kind of action/adventure films are still cool but to older movie going audiences this will come off either as great entertainment or a pitiful adventure film with no class. Poor dialogue and grand but at sometimes-cheesy special effects "Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time" is utterly underwhelming and cringe inducing painful, it could have been somebody instead of the cliché dull film that it is.

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December 16, 2010
This movie was ok but it could have been so much more, I wonder what a non Disney version would be like.
January 23, 2011
It would be just as big a waste of money as this Disney version and seeing as it had such a first class director like Mike Newell I thought it could have been so much better than what it was.
June 06, 2010
How did I miss this review before? I thought this had some fun entertaining moments but definitely weak in its narrative. Still better than most video game adaptations I can remember but definitely flawed. How do you rate your movies..a scale of 1-10? Might be a good call to include that in the review since my +3 out of 5 sounds like your -2 out of 10.
June 06, 2010
I agree with you and then I disagree with you this film was all style over substance it lacked a cohesive narrative and the script was just riddled with over the top action and hooky dialogue. In my opinion the most well written video game adaption is "Silent Hill" that film actually had the creators of the series involved in the production of the movie. And How I rate my movies I rate them as I do on two other sites where I post rotten tomatoes and flixster I gave this film a 50% on rotten tomatoes and two stars on Flixster so my rating reflects my rating on other sites.
More Prince of Persia: The Sands of... reviews
review by . November 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
They sure had some nice dentists back in Persia
Prince of Persia could be the start of another genre series of high action, special effect laden romps in the some vein as Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean films.  You got old tales of yore, colorful supporting casts, hissable villains and attractive leads in the heroes.  You also got some light entertainment that isn't too demanding of a story to entertain you, maybe it's too light.      A young boy names Datsun is taken in one day by the King of Persia …
review by . January 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*1/2 out of ****      Disney needs to realize two things. One of those things is that they haven't came out with a good swashbuckling actioner since the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy gave up the gun. The other thing they need to realize is that in 2010, the "Clash of the Titans" remake released, rendering the existence of "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" nearly useless. I'm guessing you know what I mean by all of that: "Clash …
review by . January 22, 2011
We all know the history of videogame-to-movie adaptations, especially those made by the infamous Uwe Boll. Pretty much every single one of them has sucked, except this one. Prince of Persia is definitely the best videogame movie ever made, but that's not saying much, so I tend not to judge it as a videogame movie but instead as a popcorn movie. It definitely succeeded in what it was meant to do also because the few people that were in the theatre looked happy.      In terms …
review by . November 29, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Before seeing PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME for the first time, I was already somewhat familiar with the general premise of the story because I had played a couple of video games the movie is based upon. The movie follows prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhall), the adopted son of King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup). In the aftermath of the invasion of an enemy city, Dastan takes a strange dagger filled with sand as spoils of the war and the city's princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) is captured. Shortly …
review by . May 29, 2010
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Action-Adventure In the Sands of CGI Eye Candy!
   Video game to film adaptations. We all know such efforts are always found wanting and video games are hardly ever given the respect they deserve. So why do we still always have high expectations for films that are based on video games? I think it is because of the hope that we may see our favorite video game characters come to life in a credible motion picture. Well, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his “Pirates of the Caribbean” crew have recruited director Mike Newell to …
review by . May 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Nizam, Dastan & Tamina,
Let me be honest. The only real reason I wanted to see Prince of Persia was to see Gemma Arterton in a role with more screen time than her character “Io” in this year’s Clash of the Titans. To my surprise, PoP: The Sands of Time actually had some depth to it… something I wasn’t expecting going into the movie. It should be mentioned that Persia had quite the uphill battle considering its roots in the videogame genre. Historically, videogame movies haven’t exactly …
Quick Tip by . November 24, 2010
Far out fantasy in the Middle East where a Prince and Princess keep an artifact out of hands of the evil that is Ben Kingsley. Decent enough and I've sat through worse.
Quick Tip by . December 04, 2010
A film celebrating Persians but played by actors all with British accents? Don't look for ANY historical accuracy here!
Quick Tip by . November 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
its got nothing on the game but hey i liked it anyway. the only bad thing about it is it reminds me a little to much of the pirates movies and the national treasure films...but the CGI omg! worth the watch.
Quick Tip by . September 28, 2010
Again a video game-inspired film proves to be entirely predictable and wholly unsatisfying as a piece of storytelling. This being a Jerry Bruckheimer production, I knew that style would overtake substance, but still I hoped that there would be some form of characterization here. Alas, not so much. The plot is mess and fails to explain itself at times while at other times it allows for the characters to make logical jumps that are ludicrous. There are plotholes big enough for an ostrich and a camel …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
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About this movie


Set in medieval Persia, the story of an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Which is why after the prince was tricked by a dying Vizier to unleash the Sands of Time that turns out to destroy a kingdom and transforms its populace into ferocious demons. In his effort to save his own kingdom and redeem his fatal mistake, it's up to the prince and the princess to return the sands to the hourglass by using the Dagger of Time, which also gives him a limited control over the flow of time.
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Director: Mike Newell
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 28th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010
Runtime: 116 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films
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