When I first heard that the movie giant Jerry Bruckheimer was taking the video game Prince of Persia and turning it into a movie, I thought that he had reached a new low. After all, the best movies are completely original, next come sequels, then comic book adaptations, novel adaptations, and, at the bottom of the list, we find video game adaptations.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. I was expecting an exceedingly weak plot, cheesy one-liners, and a lot of Jake Gyllenhaal staring into the camera. While the film was filled to the brim with those last two, its plot wasn't that disappointing. Sure, it was predictable, but at least it wasn't boring. Its story wouldn't have made a passable novel, but the plot is what it should be: a neutral canvas that they could throw action sequences, funny jokes, and great effects onto.
Although, there were a few scenes when the plot felt very forced. The most obvious example of this was the scene when Dasdan first discovers the dagger's powers and he blatantly states, almost immediately, "Oh, pressing the jewel on the hilt of the dagger turns back time by one minute and only the holder of the dagger is aware that anything has happened!" These moments of the film ruin the illusion that films are supposed to create, and are the result of just plain laziness on the writer's part.
The action sequences were very entertaining and suspenseful. Jake Gyllenhaal must have had numerous stunt doubles for all of the rooftop jumping, diving off of buildings, and other impressive acrobatics he performed during every other scene. That aspect of Prince of Persia, as well as Mr. Gyllenhaal's comedic acting were both positives for me.
Probably my favorite aspect of the film would have to be Alfred Molina. He was the best actor in the film (I was slightly disappointed by Ben Kingsley's weak performance), and his character, Sheik Amar, was really funny.
Overall, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time did exactly what it set out to do: combine big actors, big action, big laughs, and big marketing to create a summer hit that would make Disney (and Mr. Bruckheimer) millions at the box office. While parts of the plot felt forced, I'd consider the story average, but the action was great, and Alfred Molina was the best. I'd recommend going out and seeing it this weekend. Don't analyze it too critically; just be entertained.
I give Prince of Persia: Sands of Time a solid 7 out of 10 stars.