For a family-orientated blockbuster in the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince of Persia is an entertaining enough affair. As expected, the special effects and action sequences excel, whilst the plot and dialogue are less impressive.
Adopted as an orphan boy by the Persian King, Dastan grows up in the royal family. After the king is murdered, Dastan must prove his innocence with the help of a mysterious dagger…
The plot is predictable, but that is hardly surprising considering the film is based on a video game. Likewise, the dialogue shifts between cheesy one-liners and overly grandiose sentiment. Nonetheless, these issues do not distract too much from the enjoyment of the film.
Jake Gyllenhaal does a good job as hero Dustan, whilst Gemma Arterton is perfunctory as the beautiful love interest, Princess Tamina. Ben Kingsley is adequate in his now customary role of knowledgeable older character/secret villain. With the film’s Middle Eastern setting, however, it is a shame that more of the actors aren’t from this region. It seems being “browned-up” is still deemed appropriate in 2010 Hollywood.
The special effects and wonderful landscapes make Prince of Persia a film that really should be seen on the big screen. Although the film is directed by Mike Newall, the influence of producer Jerry Bruckheimer are all too evident; the slow motion shots in the battle sequences, for example.
Prince of Persia is enjoyable enough for the type of film it is; it was never going to break new ground. Perhaps the real shame is what it signifies in modern Hollywood: before the numbers even come in a sequel is already guaranteed. Gone are the days, it seems, when a film actually had to do well before a sequel was even considered and green lit.