As many of you know, a lot of movies based on video games have been failures both critically and commercially. Need we bring up Mortal Kombat: Annihilation? Need we bring up Hitman? There can be many debates on why this might be so, but the truth is that these kinds of movies just suck. I was hoping that the newest video game based movie Prince of Persia would do better than those previous. Now while it isn’t saying too much, Prince of Persia is easily the best video game adaptation so far.
Adopted from the streets of Nasaf by King Sharaman of Persia, young Dastan grows up amongst royalty and quickly earns his place as a mighty warrior and prince. As his brothers Garsiv and Tus plan battle strategies, a spy sends word that the Holy City of Alamut has been supplying weapons to enemies of Persia. Taking matters into his own hands, Tus orders an attack on the sacred city and upon its fall Dastan encounters the beautiful Princess Tamina. When King Sharaman dies under mysterious circumstances shortly after, and Dastan is accused of his murder, he flees with the princess on a harrowing mission to clear his name. Learning from Tamina the true motives behind Alamut’s invasion, Dastan must embark on a perilous quest to stop an evil mastermind’s plot for ultimate power with a mystical weapon that can control the very fabric of time. [Source: IMDB]
Jake Gyllehaal was great to see onscreen as Prince Dastan. He’s a fun character, but at the same time you can see why so many see him as a great leader; you route for him throughout this film and hope for him to accomplish his goal. Ben Kingsley also does a great job in his role for the amount of time he’s on screen. And I felt this movie showed actual depth in character and story, something lacking in many video game movies or action movies in general nowadays. However there was another character that beat them both (we’ll get to him in a minute).
Most of the films action scenes are incredible. It felt a little Lord of the Rings like, but in a good way. I especially loved the battle sequence at the beginning and the one at the end. And when they did the “turning back time” sequences in the film, it was well done.
And the visual effects were equally stunning as well, especially the turn back time scenes. And some of the shots in this film are just gorgeous to look at. There’s a shot you’ve seen in the trailer where it’s a 360 degree shot around Dastan and it looks more brilliant in the film than it does in the trailer. The cinematography was gorgeous, and sets the mood beautifully.
I really liked the score as well for this film, which was done by Harry Gregson-Willaims (Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven). It captured the mood of the setting and it was good that they didn’t go with what I like to call the “300 way” with a lot of guitars added into it.
As I mentioned above, there was one role that stood out the most and that was Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar. He’s the Jack Sparrow of this film, and brings comic relief. I love the part where someone asks him “Has anyone ever told you you talk to much” and he just goes “…hm..yeah…” He was the scene stealer for this movie.
The dialog is weak in this film, especially from Gemma Artenton. It felt like her lines were off in too many places and like she was uninterested in her role. I haven’t seen many of her films so I can’t say if I think she’s bad or not, but in here, she was really the weakest role, which is wrong to say since she is a huge supporting character. She’s still a pleasure to look at though…
Now while I enjoyed the turn back time scenes definitely. But it only happened 4 times during the whole movie, and some parts were ruined because they were facing horrible things and I was thinking “Why don’t they just use that f**king dagger?” But no, only four times, and when they happened it was great, but I really would have liked to seen it done a couple more times.
While most of the CGI is great in the movie, the CGI snakes were awful. They looked like something off of a Sci-Fi channel movie. You goddamn slithering things…
While Prince of Persia is a flawed movie, ultimately the bad dialog and many other things I could nitpick about the film is outweighed by the good things about the film. The story was great, the characters were great, the action was superb, and this film could easily be the start of video game movies heading in the right direction. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an Oscar worthy made me cry film, but I was entertained from beginning to end. Check this film out when you have the time.
Overall, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I give Prince of Persia a 7.5/10.