I remember when I had to have my wisdom teeth removed. When I heard the news they were coming out and I had to make an appointment at the oral surgeon, and I was freaked out. My mind raced—thinking of every possible gruesome outcome that could arise from the extraction (OK, I was a bit of a drama queen, I will admit). Every day until the day of surgery, I kept thinking that this would be the worst experience of my life. It would be utterly horrible. And, while the procedure would take only a few (long) hours, I thought I would be scarred for life. But when I came out of the surgery and the drugs wore off, I couldn’t help but think it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Plus I had ice cream.
Strangely, the above paragraph could also be used to explain my experience with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Yes, I thought the film was going to be beyond horrible (this film was my husband’s Netflix selection, I should point out). And, I did try to postpone watching it for as long as possible. Also, like the surgery, the few hours seemed to really drag on (why did the film need to be 116 minutes long?). But, also like the surgery, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. There was no ice cream though. You can just insert a picture of me here shaking my fist at the sky and yelling in slow-motion “why?”.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is not about pampered long-haired cats trying to take over the world. That movie is Cats and Dogs (or the charming sequel, Cats and Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore). These two are always easy to mix up. No, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is about Dastan, a young prince—of Persia—played by Jake Gyllenhaal. When I started the film, I could not get over this character’s name. To me, it sounded like Prince Dustin. That just seems silly. Prince Dustin? It seems far from princely and more like someone who would belong in a fraternity. Dastan (note the different spelling) is much better. My bad. Anyway, this roguish prince teams up with a feisty princess from a holy city, Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) to stop evil forces from acquiring a magical dagger with the ability to control time. Expect the typical “plot twists” where certain political figures are manipulated by others. Yes, the whole Scar-Mufasa trope just doesn’t get old, does it?
This film is based on a video game that involves a lot of jumping. It uses scenes seemingly straight out of the game and employs a few camera moves from it as well. OK, I admit, it looked pretty cool to see some of these stunts “performed” in a film. I dug it. I guess it is supposed to make those that played the game feel like they are in the movie. It certainly did for me. However, I apparently would have been one of the bad guys who never made the crazy jumps. I always fell in the game. Yay, no eye-hand coordination and poor spatial relationship abilities!
So this will probably sound really bizarre, but I didn’t like Jake Gyllenhaal in this film. I know, he is on the A-list in Hollywood and I should like everything he does or face scorn and dirty looks; but he didn’t seem to fit. It wasn’t that he did a poor job acting, either. There was just something about his casting that didn’t work for me. Maybe I perceive him as a more serious actor and couldn’t let that go for the film. Prince of Persia seems like it would have been an awesome film for an actor who seems less serious than Gyllenhaal– someone like the cartoon Aladdin combined with the Rock (can you smell what he is cooking?). It was a little weird– like watching Meryl Streep play the Tomb Raider (dude, I know it’s Lara Croft, but isn’t it funnier to say the Tomb Raider? It so is) or having a glass of Cristal with your double down. It just doesn’t fit.
The rest of the cast I totally bought–even the dude who played Jeff from Coupling (Richard Coyle), although my husband still refuses to believe that was him (imdb doesn’t lie). Ben Kingsley seems to always play either psychotic untrustworthy killers or Gandhi. Guess what he is in this film? Alfred Molina is consistently enjoyable. But he has a hard time doing wrong in my book since his role in The Man Who Knew Too Little (“The man is a god”).
Overall, this movie was a lot better than I thought it would be. Yeah, it was a little like The Lord of the Rings meets Lion King with a splash of Scorpion King. But it was still pretty fun. The stunts and fight scenes were actually cool. Don’t say it– I know, I apparently have strange taste in films because I won’t sit through Seven Pounds, but I liked The Prince of Persia. In my defense, it often has to do with expectations. Seven Pounds took itself too seriously, and acted all pretentious– like it hadn’t had a frozen pizza or an Oreo cookie ever. The Prince of Persia, on the other hand, already had some diet soda chilled for me, the pizza in the oven, and a glass of skim milk with my Oreos. And like all of that junk food, while I couldn’t have it every day, it actually was kind of good to have it once in a while. There you have it, folks. The Prince of Persia is just plain and simple pure entertainment. However, I did draw the curtains while I watched it so the neighbors wouldn’t know. I want them to think we are the brick oven gourmet pizza eating and high-brow indie film-watching folks!
Enjoy your day!:)
Netflix Queue: 471