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.
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!