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    May 27, 2010

    MOVIE REVIEW: PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SAND OF TIME

    PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SAND OF TIME (English/PG13)


    Genre: Action/Adventure
    Release Date: 27 May 2010
    Distributor: Walt Disney
    Running Time: 118 minutes
    Director: Mike Newell
    Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman, Eric Mcleod, Mike Stenson
    Writers: Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
    Casts: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arteton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina
    Plot: In this most anticipated game-to-movie adaptation, we follow Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he teams up with Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) to stop a ruthless leader from laying his hands on the Sands of Time, a gift from the gods that can be used to reverse time and rule the world.


    THE VERDICT




    What makes Jake Gyllenhaal so eager to assist the fallen beauty? Not much, but perhaps the story of the Prince Of Persia can be forgiven for some of its drowsiness it causes and by taking it through a different approach; bold and mannerly done. The whole story in the movie has nothing to do with any plot from the games. Like I once said, there is nothing much to pull off from a video game storyline, take an example like Silent Hill or Doom – but the wild imagination of the peoples behind the Pirates Of The Caribbean had done some decent jobs by giving taking things the other way round. Yes, there is nothing perfect about the movie at all but it definitely stands better among others on the movie-based-on-video-game genre.




    Once upon a time in the vast empire of Persia, Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), whom had no royalty and nobility in his blood, ran across the slum of Nasaf as a cheeky and highly agility orphan kid. Amazed by his courage to stand for justice, he was soon adopted into the family of King Sheraman. 15 years later, he joined the highly-ranks of his brothers Garsiv and Tus and their uncle Nazim (Ben Kingsley) to invade the holy city of Alamut, suspected of selling weapons to the enemy state. Upon the destiny, Dastan found a magical dagger known as The Dagger Of Time which unleashes sands and reverses back the time. Framed for the murder of his father, Dastan became an exile from the his homeland and later teaming up with the beauty Princess Tamina (Gemma Arteton) to embark on a journey that fills with the eager to search the real killer of his father. Soon, he learnt about the potential and the possible destructive power that may happened if the dagger falls into the wrong hands.




    Loosely based on Jordan Mechner's video game and infused with 6th century Persian fables and fantasy, director Mike Newell could have done no mistakes. Prince Of Persia is no ordinary Sinbad or Aladdin story. Should I say it lies closely to Indiana Jones? And just because they are Middle Eastern, it does not justify the ban on British accents after all! The positive note is that Prince Of Persia is indeed a surprisingly good. The writing team can come out with a decent and entertaining swashbuckling movie that does not have anything in related to the game, although one may notice the heavy elements borrowed from the games itself. The producers have described the story as comparative to Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, where both games’ elements are incorporated into this. It is decent, fast-paced and innovatively created adventure that is easy to follow, although one must always be cautious of its multiple heavy plots in it. The whole adventure is simply fantastical.




    Even with the decent story, there is however some flaws checked in it. Despite the multiple plots been gel together, there is always a possibility that things do not adhere that well. Here it suffers those conventional loose story line and uneven tones, especially the final 30 minutes of the movie which I though was a little too fuzzy. Was it because of the style of film editing? Indeed, the poor film editing has caused many things to breeze through and at times, it felt no connectivity to each other. Camerawork is stunning but deplorable as a lot of dizzying and action cuts are making its round all over the place – it is not that it is bad but the dizzying scenes can be a little annoying! The fleshy finale or rather the anti-climax occurs too sudden. With all the intense battles and the plot build-up, the last 20 minutes is nothing more than a stand-off debates on the morality of the invasion and what’s truth or not. There are also at times that the story may goes a bit off track with the attempts of making jokes that are not so funny and an oddly witty dialogue could means almost nothing.




    Prince Of Persia is a good movie if only you consider the finale as a norm flaw. The casting is indeed variety and explorable. Jake Gyllenhaal managed to shun away his boyish persona to become a wild and cheeky character like Prince Dastan. He may not be the best feet to fit in but I think he had done pretty enough to get things kicking. Gemma Arteton’s Tamina is as usual as her role of spiritual divine (just like in Clash Of The Titans) but I noticed that she raise her game higher and for that she is great in. Ben Kingsley and his antagonist role are so familiarize. Just now I said that the jokes aren’t that funny, Alfred Molina’s Sheik Amar did not make things worst. He is truly a comical relief, always with his obsession on ostrich races and evading the taxes.


    IN SHORT


    With a decently written story, nothing much goes wrong in the movie. It will hopefully give fans something to cheer for and Mike Newell’s glorious efforts in Harry Potter: The Goblet Of Fire has managed to make this swashbuckling sandal-and-sword a very entertaining and joyride. He makes it better than the others. The scar on the climax with the remaining 20 minutes towards the end is something that should not happen but it did happen anyway. Some camera and editing works are questionable. Luckily, the Oscar-winning director of photography John Seale did great visual effects and cinematography, as well as Alfred Molina and Gemma Arteton make this movie impressive, while million tonnes of sands are thrown only to serve you a fun but not an epic.


    THE RATING
    Story - 3.0 stars
    Casts - 3.5 stars
    Cinematography - 4.0 stars
    Effects - 4.0 stars
    OVERALL - 3.5 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 13.8
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