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Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010) – Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.

It seems like a universally accepted fact that a movie based on a video game will suck.  Sure, we have those rare exceptions that are kind of “cult classics” because they suck so bad that they’re guilty pleasures, e.g. Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.  But then we also have those that are so bad that one can’t help but feel bad for all those involved, e.g the trifecta of bad video game films courtesy of Uwe Boll: Alone In The Dark, House Of The Dead, and BloodRayne.  And then something amazing happened.  Mike Newell, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Disney came together and made a film that can be considered a good video game movie.  You heard right, folks.  It is possible after all!

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know that this film was based on a video game in the first place.  I had never even heard of the game.  Blame it on the fact that I’m not a “gamer,” I guess.  And I’ll be the first to tell you that the minute I found this out, I lost all hope for this movie being good.  I know the track record of movies based on video games.  No matter how much you love how Angelina Jolie looks, fellas, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was not a good movie.  And then, to add insult to injury for the film, there was a minor uproar about Jake Gyllenhaal’s casting as Prince Dastan.  Let me say this for the record, regardless of his race, Jake Gyllenhaal was perfectly cast.  Though mainly known as an indie king of sorts, Gyllenhaal not only transformed his body into that of a Greek God, he also perfected an accent for his role.  And ladies, before you start complaining that your boyfriend is making you watch this (after you make him watch Sex And The City 2, of course!) keep in mind that Gyllenhaal’s deliciously muscular frame is on full display here.  There were also great performances by Alfred Molina and Ben Kingsley.  Molina was the perfect comic relief as a con-man entrepreneur that rigs ostrich races and Kingsley was amazing as the conniving jealous brother of the king.  I can’t really say much for Gemma Arterton, but as the saying goes, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  So I’ll leave it at that.

The story is weak, but that’s to be expected from a video game movie.  Dastan has to help Princess Tamina protect a dagger that unleashes the fabled sands of time.  But, honestly, when you go to the theatres to watch a film during the Summer are you really looking for a great story or a great time?  There’s no mistake that all movies that come out in the summertime are just big blockbuster popcorn flicks.  If you want a good story, go to the theatres in the Fall, when studios unleash their Academy Award hopefuls.

If you’re looking for a great popcorn flick that’s full of action, then you’re in luck.  If you’re looking for a fun time and an adventure, you’re watching the right movie.  And if you’re looking for the next big action star, then Jake Gyllenhaal fits the bill.  I expect to see him in many more action films.  Mr. Gyllenhaal, I hope your agent is ready!  And it might just be because I went in with such low expectations, but I had one heck of a fun time watching this film!  Filmtastic review = 4 stars.

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