Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shawna's Summer Movie Review - Prince of Persia

Four little words: Go See This Film

Oh yeah, 2 definite thumbs up

Since I am only partway into the first game (thanks to my sister for letting me play it on her X-Box 360!) I am taking her word on the fact that a lot of this movie has NOTHING to do with the game....but don't let that stop you.

Jake Gyllenhaal certainly has fun in the lead role....not an actor I would have thought of for the part, but very well done. Don't let the hype about "oh, the Prince should have been played by an actual Persian" controversy daunt you...he was well chosen. His Prince Dastan is a rough and tumble rogue that you actually care to see come out ahead and a wonderful surprise to see Alfred Molina who steals every scene he's in. The only downer I found was Gemma Arterton as Princess Tamina, who frankly was an annoying pain in the butt...she's pretty, but you really feel Dastan could have fallen for someone a little less (dare I say it?) bitchy. Somehow I think another actress could have pulled it off and made Tamina at least a little bit likeable, but then I have yet to find a role Gemma has played that I have enjoyed her in.

The role of Tus totally had me guessing where I'd seen that actor before...it wasn't until after the movie that my sister Miya informed me she'd finally pegged the actor as Richard Coyle, who played Jeff in the Brit series "Coupling" (Oh, Jeff!) Nice to see him in such a strong, manly role. Ben Kingsley is his usual fantastical self and for total movie geeks (like myself) the actor playing King Sharaman is Ronald Pickup who was the voice of Aslan for the BBC versions of the "Chronicles of Narnia" (no, I didn't know it until I looked it up on IMDB; I just knew his voice sounded familiar).

It seems Prince Dastan has to save the world from the Sands of Time being unleashed (which would destroy mankind) while also trying to clear his name from a crime he did not commit. Add one snooty little Princess who has dedicated her life to keeping the Sands hidden and safe, and you have the premise for our movie...expect a lot of banter and verbal sparring between the two. There is an overabundance of amazing action shots (many of the moves from the game are recreated here) and you just have to love a film that allows actors to just let go and have fun with it. Smaller characters are given room to branch out as well (as in the above-mentioned Alfred Molina who will keep you chuckling); amazingly, for a cast of so many different characters, it manages to keep you following the plotline without getting too bogged down into everyone's personal story, yet you still find yourself becoming concerned for their fates. Our "baddies" (the Hassansin assassins) are uber creepy...perhaps a bit over the top, but they are definately not guys you'd want to run into anytime soon. The set-up takes a little longer than you'd like, but its worth it to get to the action of the film, and gives you necessary background information for later.

Don't bother sitting through the credits....after all of the Persian themed music, having Alanis Morrissette singing the end title song is a strange choice, and there is no Easter Egg after the credits stop rolling.

All-in-all....not a movie that will win any awards, but one I will be purchasing when it comes out on Blu Ray...and probably will see again before it leaves the theaters.


Teachinfourth said...

Saw it yesterday. At first I had no idea of what was going on. Then, it all seemed to make sense (about 20 or so minutes into the film).

I liked it.

♥Miya said...

I still can't believe our Jeff pulled off such an intensely manly man role!