Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

I went to see this because I’ve played both modern versions of the video game and thought them incredibly fun, two of the best games ever.

The movie–eh–not so much.  I don’t know why they can’t do stories like this these days.   Even with all the CG in the world and Jake Gyllenhaal supplying enough swash and buckle to be going on with, I couldn’t help thinking that Errol Flynn on a backlot sandbox could’ve made this stuff sing.  That’s two adventure films I’ve seen this summer–Robin Hood was the other–where I thought Flynn could’ve done a better job.  I’m not  hankering after the old days, truly.  But Flynn’s films still work and these new ones just lie there like a couple of loxes.

I Wish I Could Quit You - Oh Wait, I Can...

In the Prince‘s case, part of the blame lies with director Mike Newell.  He did one of my favorite modern gangster pictures Donnie Brasco.  Here, though, his action scenes are poorly made and hard to follow.   And even though he didn’t make the usual unrealistic feminist mistake of making the heroine as physically capable as the hero (ala Robin Hood), there were just no sparks between Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton, savory as she is.

It seems like it should’ve been easy to make this one go, but no, it’s mostly a plodding dud.  Play the games instead!  They’re great stuff!

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  • DeadCell

    I’m glad I skipped this one. I like the games, but I really didn’t want to support this movie economically, because I’m hoping for an end to all of these video game adaptations. The Resident Evil movies were terrible, as were the Tomb Raider movies and the Doom movie. Now there are plans to make a Mass Effect movie. These movie studios need to stop ruining our games!

  • Benjamin Arie

    One game that could have — should have — been a great movie is The Dig.

    Mid nineties. Anybody played it? Spielberg was involved in the development, as was Lucas. The game had an eerie, compelling soundtrack, interesting characters, and a mysterious sci-fi story.

    I woulda worked. Would still work, actually.